North Gwinnett teacher earns national art award

SUWANEE -- An award-winning art teacher at North Gwinnett High School keeps raking in the accolades.

In March, the National Art Education Association will honor Debi West as the 2012 Outstanding National Art Honor Society Sponsor of the Year, a title granted to teachers who exemplify leadership, commitment and service to the profession.

It's one of two awards she's received during the 2011-12 school year. In the fall, the Georgia Art Education Association presented West and colleague Bruce Bowman with the sponsor award.

West will be honored in New York City at the national level March 1-4 during the annual conference.

"There is no greater testament to your exemplary contributions to the field of visual arts education than being chosen for this prestigious award," said Kathy Duse, the organization's executive services and convention and programs manager.

A veteran Gwinnett County Public Schools teacher, West has dedicated two decades to teaching art to Gwinnett students. She started her career with the district at Sugar Hill Elementary. She also taught at Rock Springs Elementary and Level Creek Elementary.

While teaching at Level Creek Elementary, she was named 2005 Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year.

West holds a bachelor's degree in studio art, a master's degree in education and a specialist's degree in art education from the University of Georgia.