“My children, everyone’s children are our future and they need to experience the creativity and expressiveness that art allows,” says Rebecca Moppin of Bolivar, Mo., about her inspiration to teach art.
“If I can allow just one student the opportunity to express themselves, to appreciate the arts, to be creative, then I’ve done my job,” she says.
Moppin, a former Kingdom City, Mo., resident and two-time William Woods University graduate, has been selected as the K-12 Art Educator of the Year by the Missouri Art Education Association (MAEA). The award will be presented during the MAEA spring conference March 15.
K-12 Art Educator of the Year is designed to recognize one outstanding MAEA member for exemplary service and achievement. The award acknowledges Moppin’s commitment to the development of art and art education, her active participation in MAEA and her outstanding teaching abilities.
The MAEA is founded on the belief that all people have the ability to create and understand art and support creative teaching. The organization also promotes the professional development of teachers in the field.
“She (Moppin) has been invaluable to the organization for her hard work and dedication,” Susan Elson, MAEA president-elect, said. “The support and encouragement of others seems to fuel Rebecca. . .she has single handedly changed the face of MAEA. We are fortunate to have Rebecca as the MAEA K-12 Teacher of the Year.”
Moppin is the daughter of Donald and Linda Vandeloecht, who own and operate Modern Farm Equipment Company and Modern Farm Lawn and Garden Center in Fulton, Mo. She graduated from North Callaway High School in 1994, and then earned her BFA in graphic design from William Woods University in 1998. Moppin is quick to credit her mentors at WWU, George Tutt, Bob Elliott, Terry Martin and Paul Clervi.
The mother of three children (Jeffree, 13, Pake, 6, and Emily, 8 months), Moppin says, “My inspiration is simple. My children.”
“This award, while it has enormous potential to open many doors for me and my career, and I hope they open wide, is also for my children. Their needs and my quest to provide them with a solid role model as a single mother fuels my drive for continued success,” Moppin said.
Her ambition and passion for knowledge extends beyond her role as a teacher. She
enrolled in William Woods University’s Graduate & Adult Studies program, which offers classes close to home with convenient class times. She recently completed her master of education degree in curriculum and instruction.
Continuing to be a successful high achiever, she is excited about her next goal: “I look forward to beginning the specialist program through William Woods in the near future.”
She is currently involved with curriculum education in MAEA. She presents workshops titled “The ABCs of Curriculum Maps” and “Using a Curriculum Map to Advocate.” She also assists teachers throughout the state in need of curricular advice, and is a leader in the curriculum selection for the English department at her school.
Moppin teaches art and assists with curriculum at Pleasant Hope R-VI school district in Pleasant Hope, Mo. She enjoys working with the children and is passionate about giving every one of them a chance to create and appreciate art.
She is energized by seeing them learn, saying, “To see the imaginary light bulbs go off in their heads when they grasped a concept, that’s neat. Everyday a new priceless masterpiece is created and it happens in MY room.”