I AM THE AEA oger Darren High joined the Star City High School faculty as the art teacher in the fall of 2011 where he teaches Art 1, Art 2, Art 3, and Advanced Placement Studio Art. Since becoming the art teacher for Star City High School, High has increased student performance on the Advanced Placement Studio Art exam and increased student participation and achievement at the Arkansas Young Artists Association competition. High serves as advisor for the Star City High School Art Club as well as the Star City High School chapter of the Arkansas Young Artist Association. He has also founded a local chapter of the National Art Honor Society to recognize outstanding art students and serves as that group’s advisor. Since 2012, High has served as the Vice President of the Star City Education Association, the local AEA affiliate. In 2014 High also became the Arkansas Art Educators Southeast Regional Director, and he coordinates the regional K-12 student art exhibit for ten counties. High entered the teaching profession in 2005, becoming the first certified elementary art teacher for the Dermott School District. He taught art for the Dermott School District until 2011. Since becoming a teacher, High has been awarded approximately $19,000 in grant money for educational programs and has helped implement 40 educational field trips to provide educational opportunities for his students. Field trips included visits to art galleries, plays, historic sites, cultural festivals, science museums, planetariums, zoos, parks, bridges, waterparks, amusement parks, movie theatres, riverboats, and nature centers. High has been awarded a Target Field Trip Grant five times. In 2015, 2014, and 2013 he was awarded the grant which enabled students to tour art museums. He also received the grant twice when he served as the art teacher for Dermott Elementary School, each time funding a visit to an art museum. What he enjoys most about teaching is the ability to introduce students to new ideas and new experiences that they have never had. The majority of his students have come from lower income families and have not had the opportunity to travel much. Through the 40 cross curricular field trips he has been able to implement, he has been able to give students the opportunity to explore, observe, and investigate at educational sites, giving them first-hand experiences they would not have been able to have in a traditional classroom environment.
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Roger Darren High enjoys teaching students through field trips and first-hand experiences
High also enjoys being able to use art to help students realize their creative talents. Visual art engages students in the development of creative problem-solving skills and a better understanding of human experience and other cultures. High first joined the Arkansas Education Association when he began teaching. As a rookie teacher he wanted the opportunity to learn from experienced teachers from a professional organization. As a teacher with just a few years of experience he was able to serve with veteran teachers on an Arkansas Department of Education committee related to Benchmark exams and was one of 12 teachers from the state who helped develop the current teacher evaluation system. High says, “Being a member of AEA enabled me to have those valuable educational experiences and others like them. Being a member of AEA has provided me with the support and professional development that I need to be an effective teacher.”
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