Former resident named art teacher of the year

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 8, 2002

BYRON &045; For Vicki Wintheiser, teaching high-school students about art is a way of teaching them about life.

&uot;They learn about themselves,&uot; Wintheiser said. &uot;It’s self-exploration in those difficult years. And they learn to express themselves in a way other than verbal.&uot;

After 16 years as a high-school art teacher in Glenville and Byron, Wintheiser has been recognized as Minnesota’s High School Art Teacher of the Year for 2002-2003 by the Art Educators of Minnesota.

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Wintheiser and her husband, Philip, both taught at Glenville-Emmons High School in the late 1980s. Wintheiser is an Albert Lea native.

She found out months ago that she was nominated, and got the news that she was the winner last week.

&uot;It means a lot when it comes from colleagues who know what you do,&uot; she said.

A committee of teachers from Minnesota chose the winner. A fellow art teacher nominated Wintheiser for the award.

After being born and raised in Albert Lea, she left for college at the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus. After graduating, she taught in the Twin Cities area before returning to Albert Lea, where she lived with her husband while the pair taught in Glenville.

They have four children: Mia, Tai, Casey and Tony.

She has been teaching in Byron for 13 years, and leads a full complement of art courses on painting, graphic design, art history, crafts and more.

&uot;I love art and I like teaching, so this is kind of a dream job,&uot; she said.

She will get the award at the state convention Nov. 1, where she will have to deliver an acceptance speech. That doesn’t scare her, though.

&uot;Luckily, I’m a speech coach, too,&uot; she said.