Wisconsin Rapids Teacher Named Wisconsin’s Art Educator of the Year

Wisconsin Rapids (OnFocus) – Wisconsin Rapids Art Teacher Dustin Anderson has a love for teaching art that is obvious, and his passion for teaching art has been recognized at the state level.

Anderson was named the Wisconsin Art Educator of the Year, an honor that humbled Anderson.

“I was very humbled and honored when I heard that I had been nominated for the award,” Anderson said.

Anderson didn’t see the award coming, and his reaction was one of appreciation.

“It was a complete surprise. As an educator, we come to work and do our jobs not expecting recognitions like the one I received. Opening the letter and reading that you were named the Art Teacher of the Year in Wisconsin brought tears to my eyes and joy in my heart,” Anderson explained.

Anderson has taught for Wisconsin Rapids Public Schools for 15 years, all at the elementary level. He shared teaching art is not q job, but a passion.

“I reflected on the challenges, achievements, and relationships that I have built with my students and colleagues throughout my 15 years of teaching and realized there is no greater gift then teaching students to explore something you love and feel so passionate about,” Anderson explained.

Anderson explained three reasons for his success  as an art teacher: supportive family, supportive colleagues, and great teachers.

“I think having a strong family who believes in you and supports you is essential in following any of your dreams. I also have worked with and still work with some of the most amazing and talented colleagues ever. I have also had great teachers in my life who have inspired me to become an educator. I have always liked art, trying new things, and going on adventures. I love bringing cultures and places that I have traveled into the art room for kids to see,” said Anderson.

Anderson identified a number of individuals contributing to his success.

“Wow, to name a few is just so difficult. I had a wonderful high school art teacher from Crandon, Mr. Mackowski, who drew the creativity out of each and every one of us. While student teaching, I received amazing instruction from Jen Weiler, an art teacher in the Seymour School District. She was fun, energetic, and knew how to capture every kid and made art so enjoyable for all of them. All of the WRPS Art teachers took me under their wing and helped me through my beginning years of teaching and they built a friendship that I will never forget. Martha Kronholm, a colleague from Grove Elementary, was my mentor in my masters program. She pushed me for excellence and I believe helped me win an Outstanding Final Paper award at my graduation ceremony in Minneapolis. It’s hard to name just a few when you are surrounded by such talented individuals each and every day when you come to work,” Anderson proudly shared.

A well deserved honor for Anderson, indeed, to be named as Wisconsin Educator of the Year.

After reading how appreciative Anderson is and how readily he acknowledges others for his success as a teacher, it’s quite possible he deserves recognition for another honor.

Here’s a nomination for Anderson as a central Wisconsin Person of the Year. Not sure we can find another as humble as Anderson.

We welcome your stories! Contact us at [email protected]!


David Keech
Author: David Keech

David Keech is a math teacher in Wisconsin Rapids and public address announcer for Abbotsord High School. He officiates basketball, baseball, and softball in central Wisconsin. He has reported on amateur sports since 2011, known as 'KeechDaVoice.' David can be reached at [email protected]