The Washington Art Education Association (WAEA) has awarded Battle Ground’s Laurin Middle School art specialist Tanya Bachman the “Middle Level Educator of the Year” award for her excellent guidance of visual arts students.

WAEA gives the annual award to the middle school or junior high arts teacher or specialist who stands out above and beyond their peers in local and state levels of participation, education and advocacy. “The recipient sets the example for how Visual Arts should be taught at the middle school level,” said Cynthia Gaub, awards chair for the WAEA. The recipient is involved at the local district level in curriculum development, art shows and contests, and program advocacy.

Tanya Bachman, has a heart of gold for kids. She tries to build everyone up like their art is the best, gives them positive reinforcement throughout the day and supports them throughout their schooling years.

“Not only does Ms. Bachman have heart, but she goes the extra mile as a teacher at our school,” said Lori Schilling, assistant principal at Laurin Middle School.

Bachman not only provides students with hands-on art projects, she also invites local artists to share their professional work with her classes and organizes class art shows so that students can present their work to parents, the school, and the community. “She provides extraordinary opportunities for her students here at Laurin,” Schilling said. Student work is often displayed around the school and in the community.

Bachman says she decided to become a teacher 19 years ago after volunteering in public schools and realizing that she enjoyed working with students more than her regular job. “It’s the most amazing thing,” Bachman said. “They have the gift within, and I get to watch it develop. I get to see the creative process unfold.”

Bachman said she is honored to receive the award, and that she is fortunate to work in a school and district that values and advocates for the arts. “I am thankful to collaborate with a gifted team of middle school art professionals, and most importantly have been blessed with the opportunity to work with so many amazing young artists whose talent and creative vision will undoubtedly change the world for the better.”