Kristen Lengyel, the Fine Arts Department chair and the recipient of the “2020 Connecticut Art Supervisor/Administrator of the Year award” continuously finds ways to keep art programs at Woodland fun and engaging for the students. Whether it’s different classes collaborating on a shared project, or showcasing the talent of Woodland’s art students, she keeps the arts fresh and exciting.
Lengyel’s dedication to Woodland’s art programs made it easy for her co-workers to nominate her for this award. Her colleagues submitted letters of recommendation to the Connecticut Art Education Association, and as rounds of nominations went on, Lengyel submitted her resume for the selection committee to view.
“[Receiving the 20202 CAEA award] means so much to me because my co-workers nominated me for this,” said Lengyel. “I was so touched by the thoughtful words that they wrote in their letters.”
As the Fine Arts Department Chair, Lengyel is responsible for managing the Music, Theater and Visual Arts programs which include scheduling performances and creating curriculum.
Lengyel being a photo, studio art and digital media teacher herself, understands the importance of the arts. One of the ways she keeps the arts prevalent in her classroom is taking the basics of arts and intertwining that with the core classes the students take.
“I am constantly trying to find ways to keep our art classes engaging and current to our 21st-century learning skills,” said Lengyel.
Lengyel also uses cross-disciplinary units with other courses to teach students how art aligns with other courses they are taking in school.
This year, Lengyel’s Advanced Photography class collaborated with Woodland’s Creative Writing group for the “Braindance” competition. Students from both classes used their skills, writing and photography, to present information about different mental illnesses.
Click this link to view the Brain Dance photo projects: https://sites.google.com/region16ct.org/mrslengyelwrhs/braindance
Along with this, Lengyel’s class has teamed up with the Woodland Worldwide Club to present the “Women of Woodland” award. Lengyel’s class is in charge of creating the photos and videos that showcase each female recipient from Woodland.
Click this link to view the Women of Woodland projects: https://sites.google.com/region16ct.org/mrslengyelwrhs/w-o-w-2019
Lengyel continues to encourage her students to showcase their talents, many of whom submit their art to curated shows and art galleries. Some of her students even become selected for the juried exhibit in Connecticut’s “ASAP! Fall Show.”
Click this link to view the “ASAP! Fall Show” winners:
Lengyel keeps the foundation of the art programs at Woodland strong, providing students with the opportunities to collaborate with one another and learn more about how art connects with everyday life.