The Student News Site of Enloe Magnet High School

Enloe Eagle's Eye

The Student News Site of Enloe Magnet High School

Enloe Eagle's Eye

The Student News Site of Enloe Magnet High School

Enloe Eagle's Eye

Ms. Mann: NCAEA Secondary Art Educator of the Year

Ms.+Mann%3A+NCAEA+Secondary+Art+Educator+of+the+Year

When you step into room 1316, you step into the mind of Ms. Lauren Mann. Filled with color and personality, it reflects her “beautiful chaos,” as Ms. Lauren Hallihan, a friend and fellow teacher put it. Ms. Mann’s hardworking sensibility and humor could win anybody over. Recently, North Carolina’s Art Education Association has taken notice, meaning our very own Ms. Mann received the award for Secondary Art Educator of the Year. 

NCAEA is a group of educators dedicated to supporting the teaching of Arts in North Carolina. Their mission is to improve the quality of schools’ art programs and uphold their pillars of leadership, service, and advocacy. To uplift their community they hold annual conferences. This year it’s being held in Durham from the 19th-22th of October. There, Ms. Mann will accept her award and be recognized for her hard work over the past years.

Ms. Mann grew up with eccentric parents and art surrounding her. “I come from generations of artists, professors, teachers, and musicians, so it was kind of in my blood.” After graduating from Broughton she was off to Savannah College of Art and Design, with a scholarship for fashion, though she ended up graduating with a double major in graphic design and illustration. After SCAD, she worked several odd jobs as a graphic designer, but went back to school for a teaching degree after realizing something was missing: inspiration.

A self-described collaborative person, the joy of teaching for Ms. Mann lies in working with her students to bring their visions to life. She explains, “…working with someone on their ideas, learning from my students, and seeing their wonderful ideas. It inspires me to be a better teacher, a better artist. To her, teaching is about lifting students up and helping them reach their potential. 

Ten years into the teaching game, Ms. Mann has become a beloved confidant to so many of her students. She says being in high school is a difficult transition and she hopes to be an adult that her students can trust. “You still need that person in your life, and I hope I can be that person with my students. The secret to universal adoration: respect. She elaborates, “When I look at my teaching experience, I think high school students want the same thing. They want to be accepted, they want to be loved, and they want to be heard. The respect is huge.” To be that person is a labor of love, but Ms. Mann says she feels completely up to the task. “I absolutely love teaching. I can’t believe I get to do it every day, it just feels like all the things I’ve done in my life, they’ve all prepared me for teaching.” 

Khai French, a student who has been with Ms. Mann since elementary school, says he has always felt welcomed by her. “I wanted to do something with art with my life and I was really confused but [Ms.Mann] has always been a helpful hand. She’s given me the resources, the opportunities (…) even since I was young. She’s been a great support system.”

The NCAEA award solidifies what we already know, Ms. Mann’s unconditional support will forever leave a mark on Enloe. No matter where her future takes her, her love of art and people will guide her. When asked about what the award means to her, she simply says, “This award really is humbling to me, because there are so many art teachers in North Carolina, just so many high school art teachers that are deserving of this award, and do so much work every day. The award is truly a reflection of the students at Enloe…it shows that their students are willing to put their trust in me. So this award is really a reflection of them and the students in my art classes. Because without it, I know I wouldn’t be the teacher I am today.” 

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About the Contributor
Elise Kohli, Staff Writer
(She/her) Elise is a sophomore who is new to the Eagle's Eye and is just happy to be here. You can find her playing laufey songs on the piano and beading new bracelets for herself. She loves her cats, who are the dumbest creatures on earth. She'll ramble to anyone who will listen about her favorite artists and her mini orchid who is struggling to stay alive.
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