Art is Orland Park teacher’s passion
By Mike Nolan firstname.lastname@example.org October 28, 2013 5:40PM
Updated: December 1, 2013 7:18AM
For Meadow Ridge School art teacher Eryn Blaser, the real reward from her job comes when she sees a student’s creativity given a chance to flourish.
That’s why Monday’s outpouring of congratulations from students and faculty at the school for Blaser, named “Elementary Art Teacher of the Year” by the Illinois Art Educators Association, was a bit too much for her.
“I’m not that type of person” who seeks the limelight, Blaser said Monday, holding a basket overflowing with flowers and cards.
She said that while “accolades are nice,” it’s “what you put in every single day” in the classroom and “seeing the kids’ eyes light up when they get it” that makes the job worthwhile, Blaser, a Joliet resident, said.
Students and teachers lined the hallways Monday at the Orland Park school, cheering for Blaser as she accepted flowers, cards and hugs for her achievement. Blaser received the award Friday, which recognizes the exemplary contributions, service and achievements of an association member both inside and outside the classroom.
Herself an artist, creating paintings and hand-made jewelry, Blaser has taken part the past four years in Orland Park’s Chef Auction benefitting breast cancer research, donating paintings that are included in auction packages.
Blaser also organizes a traveling art show sponsored by the art educators association. This year there were 640 submissions from students attending public and private schools throughout the state, and she had to narrow that to 40 pieces and also frame the artwork. The show will make nine stops around Illinois and is now on display at Queen of Peace High School in Burbank through the end of November.
Blaser said art has “always been a passion of mine,” and that when she was a young girl “I was very shy” and that art “was a way to express myself.” She said she realized “probably in junior high” that she wanted to pursue a career in art, such as through teaching. She is in her seventh year at Meadow Ridge.