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Standout Art Teacher Honored

Standout Art Teacher Honored

High School art department coordinator and art teacher Beth Atkinson has been named a Distinguished Teacher of 2016 by the Harvard Club of Long Island. Atkinson is one of just 14 teachers across Long Island’s 150 public school districts and private schools to earn the prestigious distinction.

            Atkinson, who is the first teacher from Hicksville to receive the award, has taught at the high school for the past 30 years, and currently teaches Advanced Placement Visual Arts, Drawing and Portfolio Presentation. She also serves as coordinator of the art department at the high school and the district’s+ seven elementary schools. In the past, Atkinson has taught studio art, jewelry, creative crafts, photography, ceramics, sculpture and painting. She has also served as a director of student activities and as an adviser to the sophomore class, junior class and National Art Honor Society.

            She was nominated for the distinction by Harvard College junior Melissa Hammer, a former graduate of Hicksville High School. Hammer described Atkinson as a “great teacher” whose lessons “last a lifetime.”

            “Ms. Atkinson’s classes were the ones that best prepared me for work in college,” Hammer said. “[Learning] to make art purposefully, with intentional decisions relating to the materials used, methods and subject matter — and to take unique creative risks — now help me craft arguments for papers and make interesting research topics at Harvard.”

            “Ms. Atkinson is a remarkable teacher [who] inspires and challenges students both inside and outside the classroom,” said Hicksville Superintendent of Schools Dr. Carl Bonuso. “Her professionalism and dedication to the profession of teaching has made her an inspiration to her students and colleagues. We are so proud of all our teachers and staff whose dedication to the children they sere is truly to be applauded.”