Paula Rowinski named 2021 Colorado Art Educator of the Year

Wednesday, November 3, 2021 - 10:00am
Paula Rowinski with students

Legacy teacher recognized for dedication to art education and student success

Paula Rowinski

The Colorado Art Education Association has named Paula Rowinski the 2021 Colorado Art Educator of the Year. Award recipients exemplify highly qualified art educators active in education today; they are leaders, teachers, students, scholars and advocates who give their best to their students and the profession. Paula will be recognized at the CAEA Annual Awards Banquet on Saturday, Nov. 6 in Breckenridge, CO. 

Paula Rowinski’s dedication to art education and student success is unparalleled. Having taught art at Legacy High School since the day the school opened its doors to students in 2000, Paula has had the unique opportunity of creating a comprehensive visual arts curriculum from the ground up, with an established expectation of excellence that remains to this day. Additionally, Paula has been essential in creating a culture of mutual respect in which students feel safe to take risks in expressing themselves visually in order to communicate more deeply personal meaning in their work. Additionally, her compassionate nature, kindness, lack of pretense and honest concern has made Paula one of the most popular teachers on staff which is evidenced by the speed with which her classes fill and the number of former students with whom she remains in contact.

Paula’s students’ evolution, growth and successes are all the motivation she needs for her to be the best teacher she can. In celebrating her students’ accomplishments, Paula goes above and beyond in preparing student work to take advantage of every opportunity to display their work to the broadest audiences possible. She is known for filling every blank surface possible at Legacy with art in addition to local coffee shops, rec centers, credit unions and government buildings. She participates in district, community and national shows and competitions in which many students have received various awards and accolades. 

Paula is a dedicated member and advocate of ArtSource Colorado. ArtSource is a dynamic community of art educators, providing an ongoing, immersive professional development experience by teachers, for teachers. During ArtSource’s week-long summer institute, participants receive standards-based instruction, leadership training, and valuable art making time and resources for growth as an educational practitioner and professional artist. The experience is so impactful to Paula that she set out to spread awareness of ArtSource to as many art educators as possible. She now serves ArtSource in recruiting art educators to participate in their summer institute and assists them in the application process. 

Art students in class with Paula Rowinski

Fellow Legacy art educator Erin Davis shares her appreciation of Paula. “It is hard for me to express in words what a wonderful art teacher Paula is. I have personally benefited from Paula’s skillful teaching habits. She patiently guides and encourages everyone who is lucky enough to be around her and is one art teacher who will not let you down.”

CAEA is Colorado’s professional association for art educators. Members include elementary, middle level and high school visual art educators, university and college professors, education directors who oversee education in fine art museums, administrators, and supervisors who oversee education in school districts, Colorado Department of Education representatives, arts councils, and teaching artists throughout Colorado. For more information about the association and its awards program, visit the CAEA website at