Star City High School art teacher Roger Darren High was recently named 2017 Secondary Art Educator of the Year by the Arkansas Art Educators at the group’s annual fall conference, according to a news release.
High became an art teacher in 2005 after graduating from the University of Arkansas at Monticello in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts in Art and English with a Writing Concentration teaching elementary school, middle school, and high school art for the Dermott School District. He joined the Star City High School faculty the fall of 2011 where he teaches Art 1, Art 2, Studio Art 2-D, Studio Art 3-D, and AP Studio Art and serves as advisor for the Star City High School Art Club.
High has served as Arkansas Art Educators News Director since 2016 where he maintains social media accounts for AAE including Twitter, Instagram, and a public AAE News page on Facebook. He previously served as AAE Southeast Regional Director for two years.
High also serves as local president for the Star City Education Association. He has served on several state-level committees for both AEA and the Arkansas Department of Education.
He has been awarded over $20,000 in grant money for educational programs, including seven Target Field Trip Grants and has helped implement over 46 field trips to provide educational opportunities for his students. Field trips have focused on interdisciplinary connections to visual art and cultural enrichment including visits to art galleries, plays, cultural festivals, historic sites, science museums, planetariums, zoos, parks, bridges, waterparks, amusement parks, movie theatres, riverboats, and nature centers.
High enjoys introducing students to new ideas and new experiences that they have never had, the news release said. The majority of his students have come from lower income families and have not had the opportunity to travel much. Through the field trips he has implemented he has been able to give his students the opportunity to explore, observe, and investigate educational sites, giving them first-hand experiences they would not have been able to have in a traditional classroom environment.
“I enjoy being able to use art to help students realize their creative talents,” High said in the news release. “I believe visual art engages students in the development of creative problem-solving skills and gives them a better understanding of human experience and other cultures.”