Ms. Weeya Calif, art teacher at Foxview Intermediate School, has been named a 2022 Golden Apple Award winner. The Golden Apple Awards program, sponsored by the Greater Green Bay Chamber, annually recognizes high-quality educators based on professionalism, leadership and innovation.
Ms. Calif has taught art in the District since 2006. During that time, she has been instrumental in expanding the art curriculum at Foxview to incorporate courses in digital design for 6th grade students, while introducing the principles of design to 5th graders.
"There are two people who have influenced my life and how I teach," says Ms. Calif. "Maya Angelou once said, "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. I took this to heart many years ago when she spoke at my university. I want every child, when they leave my class, to feel worthy and important.
"The other was Pablo Picasso. He is quoted as saying, 'Every child is an artist.' I truly feel this is true and I strive to reach that artist within each child."
The Most Rewarding Part of Teaching
"Two things come to mind when I think about how rewarding my job is today. The first would be the excitement each child shows when they learn that they too can draw, paint and create wonderful art. It warms my heart to see their willingness to try with each new project and when their eyes light up, it melts my heart," she says.
"But most of all, it's when they are no longer with me and I run across their artwork somewhere else. I look over it and smile to myself because I see the things I taught them and they use those techniques in their art. To see them grow with their art and to know I am a part of that foundation means the world to me and that is why teaching is so rewarding."
Ms. Calif has a bachelor's degree in art education, and a master's degree in technology integration. In addition, she is a Lifetime Certified K-12 art teacher in Wisconsin and Louisiana and is a frequent guest speaker at elementary, middle and high schools in Wisconsin and surrounding areas regarding Southeast Woodland People, attending living history events and rendezvous representing Southeast Woodland People as a storyteller and presenter.