WINNSBORO — Art is more than just a class to be taught for Fairfield Magnet School for Math and Science art teacher Kimberlea Daly. It’s her passion.
Daly was recently the recipient of the Golden Apple Award. Educators play a vital role in communities, which is why WLTX and Bi-Lo teamed up to recognize outstanding Midlands area teachers with the Golden Apple Award.
To her astonishment, a camera crew showed up in Daly’s classroom Monday morning to present her with the award.
“I was so surprised and I had no idea this was going to happen,” she said following the presentation. “But we’re always doing something fun (in the classroom), so I never care when someone comes to visit.”
Daly was nominated for the award by FMSMS principal Gale Whitfield.
“I nominated Kim (Daly) because she loves her craft and wants to share it with her students through all different forms,” Whitfield stated. “I wanted her to be recognized for the great things that she does, like the many awards that our students won at the State Fair.”
Curriculum at FMSMS is based on science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM).
In Daly’s class, the focus is on art and the curriculum moves students full speed ahead, according to superintendent J.R. Green, who recognizes the importance of arts and how they’re used to improve academic performance.
“We understand that it takes more than just science, math, English and social studies,” he noted. “We also understand the importance of our arts teachers. Everyone plays a part in doing the job of creating a well rounded student.”
Using the STEAM curriculum, Whitfield added that Daly integrates other content into the classroom to help spur a student’s creativity.
By becoming a STEAM school, Daly said she tries to teach her students things they can incorporate into other classes, so they can take what’s fun and use it as an educational vehicle.
“The core classes are important,” she noted. “But I think if students can use drama, music or art to develop all the other things that teachers are teaching them, then they can’t help but go beyond that extra mile. I always have the drive, but now I have the excuse to strive for even more.”
Daly, a graduate of the University of South Carolina and Columbia College, ran her own art studio for 10 years before teaching at FMSMS.
It is because of that experience that Green believes Daly is not just an art teacher, but is an artist that is teaching art. Passion is a trait that Green looks for in a teacher and says passion can separate the good from the great.
“She has that level of passion that I love seeing,” he said. “She is creative and doesn’t look for things that are ready-made. She can take things that are thrown away and create a masterpiece, which sets her apart from other art teachers and is a part of her artist background.”
Daly said she always wanted to be an actress or artist to entertain, but was influenced to teach while writing her dissertation during college for her psychology course.
“I didn’t want to teach, but realized I still would be able to do arts while teaching others,” she noted.
Being the most recent winner of the Golden Apple Award hasn’t quite sunk in yet for Daly, but the recognition makes her feel good that the arts are being supported.
“I’m tickled to receive the award as an art teacher because I’m always pushing for support for the arts,” she said.