Dr. David Meade, who is Joseph Rogers Primary School’s art teacher, has recently been voted as president-elect of the TAEA (Tennessee Art Education Association). He was honored at the BOE’s November meeting for this accomplishment.
“We are very, very lucky to have Dr. Meade with us in our system and representing Hawkins County in all of the places that he has presented,” said Elementary Supervisor Lori Allen at the meeting. “He is such as dedicated and passionate art teacher.”
Meade is better known as ‘Dr. Art’ and is beloved by all of his students.
Tennessee Art Education Association
TAEA is the state association that is part of the NAEA (National Art Education Association). As their website explains, the mission of TAEA is to “advance quality visual arts education and to promote a cohesive professional community through advocacy, leadership and professional development.”
They provide numerous professional development opportunities to promote continued learning, and they “foster a cohesive professional community” among artists and art educators. They are outspoken advocates for “a sequential K-12 visual arts program taught by highly qualified and licensed visual arts educators” and work to inform the community on what this looks like.
A six-year commitment
Meade will officially take the office on January 1 of the new year. This role actually requires a six-year commitment, as he will serve two years as President-Elect, two years as President and two years as Past-President.
“The responsibilities of president-elect start with performing the duties of the President during their absence,” Meade told the Review. “I will also serve as a TAEA delegate for NAEA Delegate’s Assembly. I will serve as the Awards Committee Chair and coordinate and implement the nominations for the state and national awards. Finally, I will support the mission and advocacy of NAEA and TAEA.”
He will also attend the National Art Leadership Conference in Park City, Utah in 2020.
Meade told the Review that his nickname began when he had a Kindergarten student who couldn’t pronounce his last name.
“The student asked if they could call me Mr. Art,” he said. “Of course, I said yes. From there, more and more students started calling me Mr. Art, and it just stuck. Then, when I received my doctorate, it just became Dr. Art.”
Meade’s work with TAEA and NAEA
Meade got involved with the NAEA when he was pursuing his Master’s Degree at in Art Education from Edinboro University in Pennsylvania. He then joined the state chapter when he moved to Tennessee in 2011.
Since then, he has attended regional and state conferences held by TAEA and national conferences held by NAEA. He began presenting at the national conference in 2016 with the elementary art and pre-service teacher carousel presentations. Since then, he has presented in Chicago, New York City and Boston among other cities.
This past year, he also served as workshop presenter for KyAEA, TAEA, and will again present for NAEA in Minneapolis, Minnesota in March 2020.
He was nominated to fill the vacant TAEA Secretary position in 2017, then was officially elected to that position starting January of 2018. Since being elected Secretary, he has served on the state conference planning committee and the social media committee. Starting in January 2019, he also took over as Supersession Committee Chair for the state conference.
His new role as President-Elect also holds a very personal significance for Meade.
“All members of the TAEA are Professional Educators, and many times that is forgotten because we teach in a specialized area,” he told the Review. “This means that we have had specialized training and education to allow us to teach in our field. As an advocate for the arts and what they can bring to the table, education is essential to the acceptance of the arts in education. Art educators many times feel as if they are isolated in a building and that no one understands their position or job. I want them to know that we are there for them, and that, even if they are not a member of our organization, we are still advocating for them.”