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Utica Community Schools art teacher receives the Inspiring Educator Award
Utica Community Schools art teacher to receive the Inspiring Educator Award
Posted on 01/05/2022
Borowski poses with Inspiring Educator award

Being involved with the Scholastic Art Awards Competition since she was a high school student herself, Davis Junior High School art teacher, Gail Borowski, is particularly familiar with the art competition and its significance.

“As a high school student, I participated as an artist, winning my own awards at the time. As an adult volunteer, I have helped judges from other regions,” said Borowski. “And of course, as a teacher, I have guided my students through the submission process.”

Along with student recognition at the awards ceremony, two art teachers will be recognized for their involvement and influence beyond the classroom with the 2022 Inspiring Educator Award. Through nominations by students, Borowski was chosen to be recognized with the Michigan Thumb Region Scholastic Art & Writing Inspiring Educator Award for 2022.

Amy Armand, director of recruitment with the College for Creative Studies, explained Borowski was selected for this recognition in response to the 2021 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

“Students are asked to nominate a teacher for this award based on the level of impact and encouragement that students feel they receive,” Armand said. “This recognition is significant because the award is given based on student nominations alone.”

With gratitude, Borowski said the award shows her that even at ages 13-15 years old, her junior high school students love being encouraged and pushed.  

“It is humbling to think kids remember my impact beyond their art, beyond their shows, and beyond their own recognition,” said Borowski.

Picture of Inspiring Educator Award

“I ask kids to be the best human they can be, along with the best competitive and creative artist they can be. It is not about contests, it is about being better than you were in the last painting or sculpture, or life situation.”

Thy Hoang, Stevenson High School senior and former Davis Junior High student, said Mrs. Borowski has made a lasting impact on her life and deserves this recognition.

“She is encouraging, insightful and passionate about providing her students with the care they need to blossom,” Hoang said. “But above all, she is a good person and a wonder to her students.”

As a professional artist herself, Borowski makes a conscious effort to share with students her victories as well as her rejections.

This time she gets to share a triumph with her students, and it is all thanks to them.

“I am grateful for this award, but I am especially grateful for the kids and their creative efforts,” said Borowski.

“They inspire me and that makes this the best job ever.”

Borowski will be recognized during the virtual Michigan Thumb Region Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Ceremony in partnership with the Detroit Institute of Art on March 7, 2022. A YouTube link for the virtual ceremony is to follow.

Photos courtesy of Kayla DiFonzo, Davis Junior High 8th grader.