Campus: CSU, Chico -- August 22, 2001

Chico Art Education Professor Chosen as Outstanding Visual Arts Educator

Cris Guenter, Ed.D. has been chosen by the California Art Education Association (CAEA) as the Outstanding Visual Arts Educator of the year 2001. She is a professor in the Department of Education at California State University, Chico.

Guenter was nominated from the 1,000 visual art educators throughout the state of California who make up the membership of CAEA. She was chosen for her 23 years of teaching kindergarten through university, her many honors and awards, and her strong advocacy of the importance of art education in the whole education of children.

Guenter was selected as the CSU, Chico Outstanding Teacher in 1999-2000. Her work with teachers from Ireland and her leadership in Web-based instruction were especially noted in her selection for the honor.

Other honors for Guenter include her tenure as a CSU, Chico Master Teacher, her selection as a California Outstanding Higher Education Art Educator, and the Douc Langor Award for teaching.

For the last two years, Guenter has worked with ArtsEdge, a division of the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. She was invited to collaborate in their efforts to provide arts and integrated educational resources for teachers. In 1999, ArtsEdge staff found the CSU, Chico Department of Education's Web site, for which Guenter was the Web manager. They were intrigued both by her work with kindergarten arts and with her students' lesson plans in the arts, aligned with California state guidelines. She received a CSU Summer Scholar grant to consult with ArtsEdge in Washington, D.C. for a week in June 2000.

Mike Kotar, chair of the Department of Education, says of Guenter's award, "It is no surprise that Dr. Guenter's excellent teaching continues to bring her professional awards. She guides students through discovery learning and hands-on techniques in arts courses. She integrates technology in teaching and learning, and she constantly explores and creates new learning activities, new materials and new partnerships. She has collaborated with ArtsEdge in creating the online Integrating the Arts course through the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. All of this to give teachers valuable arts education that they can apply to their own teaching."

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