Susan says:

"I have found that keeping involved with various art organizations has been inspiring to me as an both art educator and an artist. The benefits of volunteering and advocating for the arts are without measure both professionally and personally. Along the way, I have gained contacts, acquaintances and great life-long friends who have also become advocates for the arts. There is no real retirement if you are involved in creating art or working with young artists.”



AEI Art Educator of the Year

2013 Susan Noonan
2012 Ronda Sternhagen
2011 Nancy Sojka
2010 Margaret Parks
2009 Kenneth Esveld
2008 Christine Noel
2007 Pat Grubb
2006 Rebecca Kobos
2005 Dave Pratt
2004 Christine Laue
2003 Sally Rasmussen
2002 Laurie Olk
2001 Barbara Caldwell
2000 Joyce Green
1999 Kyra Wilcox Conley
1998 Don Heggen
1997 Marilyn Green
1996 Christine Noel
1995 Pat Watson
1994 Cliff Coussens
1993 Joel Franken
1992 Polly Brotherton
1991 Kathleen Amelien
1990 Lynda Black
1989 Phil Murrell
1988 Joline De Jong
1987 Nan Mercier
1986 Martha Tauton
1985 Betty Lake
1984 Mary Jane Gill
1983 Kim Stastny

Art Educator of the Year Award 2013

Susan Noonan
retired art educator from Red Oak Schools

Susan Noonan

Art Educators of Iowa (AEI) is pleased to announce that Susan Noonan, retired art educator from Red Oak Schools will be honored as its 2013 Art Educator of the Year at the state art education conference on October 12, 2013, in Cedar Rapids.

Noonan's dedication to art education is clear from the letters that were received in support of her nomination for the award. Ms. Noonan received particularly high praises from fellow AEI board members Laurie Olk (Ames), Liz Lyons (Tri-Center, Neola and Underwood), and Janiece Kinzle (Glenwood).

"When you think of service, Susan Noonan is above the norm for service, working tirelessly. It sounds cliché, but with Susan, it is the truth," states Olk. She goes on to list some of the things that Noonan has been involved in: faithfully at each board meeting, area rep, chair multiple state and joint state conferences, organize and supervise the graduate credit program at state conferences, chair the Iowa Youth Art Month exhibit and ceremony, record the history of AEI, working with the Joslyn Art Museum educator program, has taught summer classes for VSA Iowa and on and on."

Lyons commends Noonan for her work at the local level. "Susan has served as both a formal AEI mentor and on a less formal mentoring format keeping contact with other art teachers in Southwest Iowa so that we could work with and communicate with each other. She has also attended or helped with most of the art teacher workshops I hold each spring in Southwest Iowa for our area teachers."

"Susan has a lifelong love for art and she generously gives of herself with her time, ideas, resources, creative spirit, and friendship to her past students, colleagues, family, online friends, and customers of her art making business," shares Kinzle. "Her acts of kindness and reaching out to others makes people feel the same giving of themselves to the arts, therefore keeping the visual arts strong."

Ms. Noonan has served a number of roles within Art Educators of Iowa including Green Valley AEA, Conference Chair, YAM Committee and Chair, and Historian. Noonan currently serves on the board for the Corning Center for the Arts. She was named Iowa’s Co-Elementary Art Educator of the Year in 2005. It is easy to sense that Noonan is a leader in advocating for the arts.