Ohio County Schools art teacher Ellen Culler

Congratulations to Ohio County Schools elementary art teacher Ellen Culler on being named as the West Virginia Art Education Association (WVAEA) 2021 Elementary Art Educator Award winner.

 Mrs. Culler joined Ohio County Schools in 1987, and she currently serves as the art teacher at both Elm Grove Elementary School and Bethlehem Elementary School. She previously served as the art teacher at Woodsdale Elementary School and Steenrod Elementary School in addition to serving as an adjunct professor of art at Wheeling Jesuit University. She started her career in Broward County Schools, Fla., but she relocated to "give back" to her home state of West Virginia.

 WVAEA President-Elect Jeffrey B. Grubbs, who is an associate professor of  art education and art history at West Liberty University, said Culler submitted extensive documentation explaining how she has worked hard to be the best art education teacher she can be for her students, schools and the school system. Culler said she is proud to accept the award.

 “It’s an exciting honor for me,” she said. “It means even more because the nominations are made by members of the WVAEA, and those members are educators throughout West Virginia. That truly makes it special.”

 Bethlehem Elementary School Principal Stacy Dietz has known for Culler for years in different roles. She said Culler was her colleague as an educator, but she was also her son’s art teacher. As the art teacher at Bethlehem Elementary, Dietz has nothing but praise for her friend and art teacher.

 “Ellen exemplifies a true visionary and an innovative educator,” Dietz said. “She draws out hidden creativity within her students and motivates them to use this new found expression to build their self-esteem. She educates them in the history

and style of different forms of artistic expression, and she heightens their senses to the world around them. Ms. Culler has worked to keep the art-education standards high in Ohio County Schools, and she gives her students opportunities beyond the classroom to share their talents with the community.”

"Ellen Culler is a dedicated art teacher who works long hours to perfect her teaching,” Elm Grove Elementary Principal Rick Dunlevy added. “She is always going the extra mile to help her students and volunteers her time at many afterschool activities. We are proud to have Mrs. Culler, the WVAEA Educator of the Year, as part of the Elm Grove staff."

 Culler will be recognized for her achievement at 6 p.m. on Oct. 22 during the WVAEA Conference Award Banquet at Wilson Lodge at Oglebay Resort in Wheeling.