Get to Know Our 20 Finalists!
Ingrid Hyde of Rockford has been teaching for 20 years. 1 year in Winnebago, 3 in Pecatonica, and the rest in Harlem at various schools: Harlem Middle School, Marquette, Olson Park, Windsor, Parker Center, Ralston, and Machesney. She is currently the Elementary Art department head, and the Machesney Elementary Magnet art teacher. She mentors new teachers and coordinates fundraising and art shows in addition to promoting art education throughout the school, district and community. She promotes art within the community by working with the Rockford Art Museum, arts organizations and local businesses. Ingrid shows her artwork at many galleries and art fairs/shows. All her activities support her position as role model for her students, not only as an art educator, but also as a professional artist, arts advocate and community member. Lauren Collen, the Learning Center Director at her school says that in Ingrid’s classroom, “the study of art is not merely a subject or a theoretical exercise; Ingrid is a practicing artist and there is evidence everywhere in her room and in her teaching of the power of art as an important creative force that improves the lives of her students.” Ingrid says that her students struggle “to overcome traumatizing events, isolation, loneliness, feeling invisible, or just want to belong.” She is committed to creating an educational environment where they can feel safe and supported as they learn and explore. In her classroom, Ingrid’s students are collaborating, persevering and using mistakes as opportunities to learn. She teaches that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and the process can be just as important as the outcome.” She encourages students to “keep an open mind, be fearless and create something magnificent. We never give up and we keep on trying.”