Greetings! As the new president of the Dade Art Educators Association I am excited about this upcoming year. I am honored to have the assistance of my executive board: Abena Robinson, Nadia Earl, Lissette Lutz, Lily Compasano Villalba, and Melissa Maxfield-Miranda. We will work diligently to represent, support, and provide for our members and our profession. We are a teacher driven organization that promotes visual arts education by recognizing student and teacher achievement. For over seventy years our organization has strived to provide the students of Miami-Dade the most comprehensive education which is inclusive of the arts. I am a product of this marvelous public educational system which as a student gave me the world of knowledge and training that created the person that I am today. I am an alumni of NWSA, Southwood Middle School Center for the Arts and the "first magnet art class of Robert Russa Moton Elementary. I plan to continue to advocate for the arts and maintain our organization’s strong and successful working relationship with the District.
Our culture has redesigned Education, and Art Education into a state that requires more, more rigor, more content, and more achievement. To paraphrase Colbert, we are not given a clear path, and when there is no easy path, then we must chose the hard path to create the world we deserve (Colbert, 2013). Nationally education will be designed by a Common Core; our superintendent has courageously pointed out at the July school board meeting the States’ misguided implementation requiring teachers to teach one standard yet be assessed by another. We applaud his support of teachers yet know this change is coming. Regardless of our feelings we are still on this path. I stedfast choose to prepare the most substantive art education program that I can with in the conditions that exist and thus oﬀer our organization’s support to the superintendent to provide the world to our students.
Our advocacy mission will continue to promote art education through several exhibitions. DAEA has awarded an annual average in excess of $1,871 in student and teacher recognition. We will continue supporting the Parent Academy, working with our community partners, and museums to promote greater opportunities for our students. Moving forward, our organization will provide substantive workshops, artist talks, and networking opportunities for our teachers this upcoming year.
Together we can transverse this hard path because I attest in the words of Mahatma Gandhi that we “must be the change [that we] wish to see in the world”. I and the DAEA board aspires to collaborate with all art teachers, the district including esteem director Mabel Morales, our partners, our community and our members to achieve this mission. I call all art teachers to join with DAEA and lets make our path towards a beautiful future for our students.
Mortimer Hechavarria, NBCT
President of the Dade Art Educators Association, Inc.