Catherine Holmes has been selected as the spring 2023 Student Teacher of the Year at UNC Pembroke.
Holmes qualifies to compete for the North Carolina Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators Student Teacher of the Year Award. Holmes graduated this spring with a Master of Arts in Teaching and teaches at West End Elementary School in Moore County.
A lifelong learner, Holmes believes art education can be as therapeutic as talking with a counselor. She feels it is an honor when students share their most vulnerable feelings and use their creativity to make connections and express themselves. By incorporating literature, drama, and an exploration of art materials, she aims to teach students that they are both a masterpiece and work in progress.
Holmes credits her high school art teacher, Tracy Price, for enriching her understanding of art and sending her to the NC Governor’s School for the Visual Arts when she was 16. She plans to continue creating and sharing her love of learning to spread empathy and positively impact the world around her.
Dr. Naomi Lifschitz-Grant, Holmes’ advisor and mentor, acknowledges Holmes’ admirable work ethic, adding that she cares deeply about producing quality work.
“She is a class leader and offers essential and meaningful insights into class discussions. I have been impressed by her commitment to her schoolwork and teaching responsibilities,” Lifschitz-Grant said.
“In the classroom, Catherine has shown enormous promise and has an extraordinary ability to relate to all kinds of students and accommodate many different learning styles. She always gives opportunities for her students to explore their world and make art that is meaningful and exciting to them.”
Holmes developed into a scholar in her own right at UNCP. Last fall, she presented at the North Carolina Art Education Association Conference in Wilmington. She also became a published author and contributed to a chapter in “Cultivating Critical Conversation in Art Education: Honoring Student Voice, Identity, and Agency,” published in Teachers College Press.