Excellent Educators is a WAVY-TV 10 initiative to celebrate local teachers who have gone above and beyond for their students and communities during the last academic year. These Excellent Educators were nominated by their school divisions. Congratulations to these educators for all of their hard work and accomplishments!

Name: Robin Copeland

Division: Perquimans School District

Position: Art teacher at Hertford Grammar School

What the school division said about this Excellent Educator: Robin Copeland has been a dynamic leader at Hertford Grammar School this year. HGS brought back art class for students this year, and it has had a positive impact on the school as a whole. Copeland’s class has quickly become one that students hate to miss. As a principal, it is always nice to hear students complaining when they get picked up early because they are going to miss art class.

HGS began the school year under many restrictions that limited collaborations and sharing resources. These challenges made teaching art more difficult, but were not anything Copeland couldn’t overcome. Copeland let her creativity shine through and used these challenges as an opportunity to plan lessons that supported core content areas.

She incorporated literacy into her classroom with read-alouds to inform student artwork and to build their background knowledge for regional art competitions. She pulled in math by teaching shapes, lines, and line segments to help students understand symmetry and patterns in their artwork.

Although many of the “fan favorite” lessons were off-limits until February when restrictions were loosened, that did not stop Copeland from planning fun lessons like the glow paint party. On remote learning days, she even used her social media page to teach students how to draw a snowman and a “selfie.”

Beyond leading in her own classroom, Copeland collaborated with our media coordinator to lead an in-house professional development session sharing resources and instructional strategies with her colleagues. She also volunteered to fill in for her “Connect” teacher team when their School Improvement Team representative had scheduling conflicts.

In every aspect of her work, Copeland is a distinguished educator. She is dependable, creative, and drive, and brings joy and enthusiasm to her room each day.

Art can be therapeutic for students. It can be a low-stress place for students to let their creative juices flow. There are many students in school that struggle academically, yet shine in the art classroom. Knowing this truth, never has an art classroom been more important to the overall success of a school. Hertford Grammar School is blessed to have Copeland as part of our school family. She is truly an Excellent Educator!