Antioch New England alumna, Debbra Crowder, MEd, who has taught at Monadnock Regional High School for 23 years, has been named Art Educator of the Year by the New Hampshire Art Educators Association. Her principal, Joseph E. Smith, praised Crowder as “one who inspires creativity in others through her personal example. [Her] passion for life and environment gives our students a sense of personal responsibility to our global community.”
Crowder also serves as an adjunct professor at the New Hampshire Institute of Art, and teaches summer courses and workshops at the Sharon Arts Center. Her work has been exhibited in community shows, and she often accepts commissions for portraits, landscapes, murals, and backdrops for theatrical productions.
Students testify that Crowder creates a soothing, stimulating, and comfortable classroom—”comfortable enough to do hard work,” said Angela Bartlett. With a focus on drawing and a philosophy that she can teach anyone to draw, Crowder emphasizes learning how to see, and works with students on exercises and activities that bring seeing and drawing together. Her students have won regional and national awards for their work.
Crowder earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of New Hampshire. Her master’s research used quantitative and qualitative methods to measure the effect of specific drawing exercises on the skills of her high school students. She has been refining those exercises every year, to great effect. In addition to the intrinsic rewards that come from fostering the creative talents of her students, the Art of Educator of the Year Award stands as a well-deserved benchmark of excellence for Debbra Crowder.