Teacher Feature: Eliza Blaker School 55 Visual Art Teacher, Heather Boelke
Heather Boelke, Art Teacher at Eliza Blaker School 55 was selected to attend the Kennedy Center Arts Integration Conference in June 2017 on behalf of Any Given Child Indy. Mrs. Boelke will be attending the conference from June 26 – 28 in Arlington, Virginia.
When asked why she is excited for the opportunity to attend the Arts Integration Conference, Mrs. Boelke said, “The arts are an asset for engaging students in curriculum and encouraging success. I am incredibly thankful that our community recognizes the intrinsic value of the arts in education! The Kennedy Center’s Arts Integration Conference is an incredible opportunity to learn new tools and techniques, which will assist our making gains in student achievement.”
About Mrs. Boelke
Heather (O’Cull) Boelke was born and raised in Westfield, Indiana. As the daughter of engineer and entrepreneur Larry O’Cull and master seamstress Anna O’Cull, she developed a passion for creating at a very young age and remained heavily invested in visual and performing arts throughout her youth. She graduated from the University of Southern Indiana in 2012, with a BS in Visual Art Education and a minor in Business Entrepreneurship. With an innovative mindset and broad exposure to STEAM, her unique perspective stood out amongst her collegiate peers.
The works of art Mrs. Boelke created during her studies explored childhood mentalities within the structure of fine art. She took risks with her content and materials, insisting that even sock monkeys and googly eyes can be exhibition worthy. Ultimately, her approach to art creation has made fine art more relevant and eloquent to her students.
After college, she split her time teaching art at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Indianapolis: LeGore Unit and Christel House Academy. In 2013, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Indianapolis honored Mrs. Boelke as Employee of the Year. She continues to expand her educational expertise, presently pursuing a master’s degree in Special Education at Marian University.
Mrs. Boelke is currently employed as art teacher at Indianapolis Public School Eliza A. Blaker Elementary School 55, and honored as an IPS Teacher of the Year candidate following her first year with the district. She has a passion for teaching children art, balancing the understanding of methods with aspects of art history and art criticism. Over the years, her passion for working with youth has flourished. Having developed a fascination for art therapy and a fierce desire to serve the inner city youth of Indianapolis, she now teaches a dynamic and engaging art curriculum, consistently developing new opportunities for all students to experience materials, relate to culture, and create with extraordinary success.