All of our communities thrive: Art Teachers

All of our communities thrive. Art Teachers

An art teacher is someone who not only gets to teach students different methods through different materials, they also get to help students see the world in a different way. Students are encouraged to see art everywhere and in everything. Choice’s art educators are passionate, experienced and dedicated to their students. 

Get to know some of our art educators! 

Hedi Davis looking over two students as they do an art project

Ms. Heidi Davis has served well over a thousand students in her 18 years at Creative Montessori Academy in Southgate. She is the K-8 art teacher and enjoys watching her students grow as young artists. 

“The unique thing about my teaching position is that I have been able to observe and teach these students every year and watch them develop as artists and young people and citizens of this wonderful world of ours,” said Ms. Davis. 

She received her degree from Central Michigan University and has done additional studies at both Madonna University and Schoolcraft University. She loves art because she believes it bridges various subjects at school. Math and science are often used in her classroom which, in turn, makes her students more successful in those subjects because of the cross-correlation. 

“I have had a couple of students go on to art school, one in Chicago at the Art Institute and another here in Detroit at College for Creative Studies but I can’t and won’t take any credit for that. I’m proud to be here along the way of their journey to help them and show them just how wonderful art is,” she explained.

Ms. Davis believes art is a great place to explore, problem solve and discover things you had no idea you could do!

Tami Tucker

Ms. Tami Tucker teaches grades kindergarten through eighth grade and sees 18 classes each week at Dove Academy of Detroit. She is in her second year there and believes art inspires creativity and the importance of organizing knowledge in a less technical way.

“Making connections with my students and making sure they know I truly care about each and every one of them motivates me every day. All students are greeted daily with a handshake, hug, or a twirl – sometimes all of them. At times they challenge me with individualized special handshakes,” Ms. Tucker said with a smile.

Ms. Tucker first attended Michigan State University to earn her degree in horticulture/floriculture and business. She went back to school years later to earn her bachelor’s from Wayne State in art education and masters with a certification in integrating technology into the classroom from Walden University. 

“I enjoy mentoring students who need direction and assistance with their behavior. I have spent one-on-one time with those who need a break from their own classroom. Teaching them how to handle difficult or stressful situations helps to develop a bond with my students,” she continued.

David Brown with student holding up his art work

Mr. David Brown came to Four Corners Montessori Academy this year with 15 years of teaching experience and the desire to use the pedagogical strategies of the Montessori Method. He chose FCMA because he liked the warmth and energy of the school when he visited. 

He attended Oberlin College and where he majored in visual art. His favorite moments in his classroom are when he introduces a new assignment and can see (and hear) the enthusiasm around it. 

“Art is essential to a child’s curriculum. Art or the practice of creativity is a skill that needs to be honed and sharpened just like the practice of reading, writing, math, etc. Creativity is an essential tool of life that enters into every domain of study and work. Our ability to create art may be one of the most defining characteristics of being human,” said Mr. Brown.

In addition to teaching visual arts, Mr. Brown also enjoys teaching a circus arts class to the middle school students on Fridays. When he first started doing this, he had a student who struggled with catching a single ball but after a variety of games and instruction, the student was able to do an entire cycle of juggling with three balls. Moments like that are why Mr. Brown enjoys coming to work every day.

Meet the rest of our art staff:

Karen Reeves

Lisa Thomson-Baker 

Amisha Ingram 

Lisa Glazer

Heidi Davis

Tami Tucker-Whelan

David Brown

Fran Mason 

Christy Brose

Fatima Sow

Kayleigh McKeehan

Betsy Buist 

Melissa Thompson

Patrick Lucas