Teacher of the Year: Breaux's Crestview students learn by doing

TOTY Laurel Breaux and Jasmine Maughon

Crestview High School art department chair Laurel Breaux, shown with former student Jasmine Maughon in April 2012.

FILE PHOTO / News Bulletin
Published: Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 04:56 PM.

Editor’s Note: This the second in a series on north Okaloosa County Teachers of the Year.

CRESTVIEW — Not many students wrap themselves from head to toe in clear plastic tape during class, but Laurel Breaux, Crestview High School’s art department chair, regularly finds ways for students to express their creativity.

"Whenever I visit her classroom, her students are always engaged," Crestview High Principal Bob Jones said. "She teaches the hands-on stuff. She also teaches an AP class. It's a high-level class with a lot of rigor, and she does an outstanding job with all of it."

Breaux's stature among her students as an accomplished artist benefits her teaching abilities, Jones said.

"She has expertise as an artist," he said. "Students recognize that, and they recognize she knows what she's doing because she can do it herself."

Breaux is well known and liked by her peers on the Crestview High faculty — who nominated her the school’s teacher of the year — and her student advocacy is renowned, Jones said.

"To have a teacher in the fine arts selected as teacher of the year is unusual," Jones said. "People always think about core category teachers, but this says a lot about the importance of the arts in the education of our students."

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