Laura Abrams is an outstanding art educator who effectively includes reading, writing, and math in her art courses at Mount Elden Middle School (MEMS). Abrams has been noted for the creativity that she brings to art projects in her classroom. She is known for using plenty of recycled materials, showing students that there are a variety of ways to make art using the objects at your disposal, and that art can have a positive environmental message. A recent project used recycled pizza boxes as a canvas for a school mural exploring peace. Students took The Great Peace and Kindness Challenge through Kids for Peace and recorded their daily progress to create a more peaceful climate. Through this project students were able to make their mark and contribute a lasting work of art to their place of learning. Abrams herself has also contributed many pieces to the school building. She has painted murals in every hallway to create an inviting atmosphere for students and visitors.
In addition to her responsibilities as an art teacher, Abrams has worked for a number of years as a Positive Behavior Support Coordinator at Mount Elden Middle School to promote a positive climate and culture for students, families, and staff at MEMS. She has also worked with others to create the Check In/Check Out program, which is a tier 2 intervention for students struggling with behavior. Programs such as these demonstrate that Abrams is not only passionate about her artwork and curriculum, but also about the well being of students at her school.
Laura Abrams interacts with almost every student who attends MEMS. Because of this she has had a chance to work with a diverse group of students from all walks of life. She has been praised by the MEMS special education teacher, Beth Sanborn, for the inclusive nature of her classroom. Sanborn states, “I have firsthand experience with Ms. Abrams willingness to work with and accommodate students with a wide variety of strengths and needs.” She helps students build a common language that they take with them when they move on to the high schools. Her work at MEMS is helping to build strong learning communities and encourage critical thinking skills framed with a global perspective.