St. Charles North High School art teacher Danielle Sheppard has been recognized as the 2022 Early Professional Art Educator of the Year by the Illinois Art Education Association.
The IAEA annually recognizes individuals who significantly impact art, design, and media education in Illinois.
“I was very surprised when I was informed I had been nominated and extremely humbled when I found out I had won,” Sheppard said in a news release from St. Charles School District 303. “I am so grateful for having such an amazing community to work in and with!”
A teacher at St. Charles North High School since 2020, Sheppard instructs students in 3D media, film, digital art, and photography. She is the sponsor for the school’s National Art Honors Society and has led and contributed to multiple art shows from which students have been awarded millions of dollars in scholarships.
“I love being able to work every day in a subject I am passionate about and to be able to share and explore that passion with others,” Sheppard said. “I am a lifelong learner and this job encourages this.”
Sheppard holds a bachelor’s degree in photography and in new media from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and a master’s in art education from Northern Illinois University. Sheppard has been a member of the National Art Education Association and IAEA since 2017.
Prior to joining District 303, she co-developed and taught a masters-level art course at NIU, results from which have been shared at several regional conferences, and in 2019 at the National Art Education Association Conference. She continues developing content and resources for her fellow art teachers today as IAEA’s PreService Chair.
Sheppard says she gets a lot of joy knowing she’s making a difference in the lives of her students and enabling their creativity to flourish.
“More than anything is the connections I make with my students and seeing how they grow and blossom over the years,” she said.
Sheppard will be formally recognized during the IAEA Fall Conference and Gala event on Nov. 11 at the Q Center in St. Charles.