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WIU Alumnus Named Illinois Elementary Art Educator of the Year

October 5, 2018


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MACOMB, IL – A Western Illinois University alumnus has been named the Illinois Elementary Art Educator of the Year.

Jordan DeWilde, a 2009 graduate, with degrees in broadcasting and art, began teaching at Oregon (IL) Elementary School in 2012. He currently teaches grades 3-6, but has taught various grades since he was hired. DeWilde received his master's degree and teaching certification in art education from Illinois State University.

"At Oregon Elementary, I wrote a brand-new curriculum for grades 4-6 and focused on multicultural education and inclusive curriculum of diverse backgrounds," said DeWilde. "In 2012, the fine arts department received the Illinois State Board of Education Those Who Excel Awards Program Award of Excellence. A few years later, in 2016, I received the Award of Excellence for Early Career Educator."

In addition to his teaching career, DeWilde has developed an online presence to share his curriculum and teaching methods with art educators around the world. He presents daily projects on the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram platforms (@MrDeWildeArt) and maintains his own website.

The Art of Education website named DeWilde one of "12 Interesting and Inspiring Art Teachers to Follow on Instagram." As a result, he will film two Pro Packs in November for the website's online professional development for art teachers. One pro pack will be "Teaching with Cultural Integrity" and another will be "Celebrating Diversity through Contemporary Art."

Over the summer, DeWilde traveled to Colorado at the request of NBC Universal's online streaming service, "Blueprint."

"I helped develop content and was the class instructor for 'Jump into Drawing!,' a class that teaches basic drawing skills to young artists while encouraging their own unique, creative ideas," said DeWilde. " I also flew to Bismark, ND, to teach at the non-profit Theo Art School. Both of these opportunities came from people seeing the type of teacher I am and the curriculum I post on social media."

DeWilde credits WIU for being the place where he began "exploring my passion for art."

"The professors in Garwood taught, challenged and inspired me as an artist and future teacher," he said. "Although I did not pursue a career in broadcasting, my professors in that department greatly shaped how I write, communicate and present myself as a professional. Many of the tools I learned in those classes have translated into the field of education. I certainly recalled a lot of what I learned when helping to develop the script for 'Bluprint' and while filming the production."

DeWilde will be presented his award Nov. 9 at the Illinois Art Education Association's annual conference gala.

For more information about "Bluprint," visit mybluprint.com/playlist/jump-into-drawing/11645. For more information about DeWilde, or his teaching, visit mrdewildeart.com.

Posted By: Jodi Pospeschil (JK-Pospeschil@wiu.edu)
Office of University Relations