Calvert art teacher chosen as state’s best

Calvert Elementary School teacher Amy Allerheiligen was honored with the 2020 Nebraska Art Teachers Association Elementary Art Educator of the Year Award.

Allerheiligen said the award came at the perfect time in fall 2020, when she was feeling anxiety and stress about going back to in-person learning. 

“Winning this award not only helped bring some joy and celebration into my life at a challenging time, but also made me want to continue to share my passion for art with my students, and to show them how the act of simply creating can help get them through the challenges that they may be facing themselves,” she said. “Winning this award was a wonderful reward for all my hard work and effort over the years, and I am grateful for it, but knowing that each day I come to school I have the chance to bring a small amount of joy into the life of even just one of my students is worth so much more.”

Calvert Principal Jeff Brehm wrote glowingly of Allerheiligen in his nomination letter for the award, talking about the “love and care” she has for students.

“Of the 300-plus students at Calvert, Amy takes the time to get to know each child by name, and works to learn unique and special things about our children,” Brehm said. “Whether on the playground supervising recess or during art class, Amy spends time talking to children to learn about who they are as people. I see her finding ways that allow children to express their unique personalities in their art at school.”

Robert Goldberg, education and community engagement manager for the Lincoln Arts Council, also has worked closely with Allerheiligen.

“Everything in her room is conducive to learning, from the ambient music upon entering, to the lighting, to the system of communicating with her and each other,” he said. “Students of every type are engaged as much as possible. Respect is encouraged. The room is safe, supportive and controlled.”

Allerheiligen also was recently honored with a formal resolution at a Lincoln Board of Education meeting.

Published: November 17, 2021, Updated: November 18, 2021