FALA, Thomas Elementary teachers take top educator honors at 2019 Viola Awards

| March 5, 2019

Rich Krueger. Courtesy photo.

By the Flagstaff Arts Council

FLAGSTAFF — Rich Krueger of the Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy (FALA) received the Excellence of Science Award during the 2019 Viola Awards, presented March 2 at the High Country Conference Center. Kathy Marron of Thomas Elementary School in Flagstaff received the Excellence in Arts Education Award.

More than 600 patrons attended the event, presented by the Flagstaff Arts Council.

Krueger, who is credited with bringing astronomy and engineering programs to FALA, oversees two award-winning robotic teams at the school and presented with FALA Astronomy students the “From Earth to Sky, A Binocular Circle” at the City Star Party at Buffalo Park in October.

He has helped build and operate a Astrolab at the Museum of Northern Arizona’s Colton Research Center, a place for amateur astronomers and students to come and learn how to use their telescope as well as share with others.

Marron, who teaches all grades at Thomas Elementary, was cited for a school-wide mural and self portrait program at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year that is now presented in the hallways of Thomas elementary portraying a rainbow of the faces of all students. This project was an important lesson on collaboration through art and a lesson in unity.

In October, Thomas students also took part in another school-wide installation, “Only One You,” where students read the original book by local author Linda Kranz, and learned some of the main lessons: “If you make a wrong turn, circle back”; “Look for beauty wherever you are, and keep the memory of it with you”; “Blend in when you need to, stand out when you have the chance”.

Students in all grades then painted a rock to look like their unique fish, which was then placed in a river shape through the school’s courtyard.

Click here to learn about all 2019 Viola Award Winners

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