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Thomas Knab Named 2019 Lowell Milken Center Fellow

June 1, 2019

FORT SCOTT, KS – The Lowell Milken Center (LMC) for Unsung Heroes in Fort Scott, Kansas, an international educational non-profit, has awarded its prestigious Fellowship to elementary art teacher, Thomas Knab, of Dodge Elementary School in East Amherst, NY. Thomas Knab will arrive in Fort Scott on June 23rd for a week of collaboration with LMC staff.

The LMC Fellowship is awarded on the basis of merit to educators who have distinguished themselves in teaching respect and understanding through project-based learning or who have the potential for this distinction. The Center selects exemplary teachers from across America and Europe, drawn from a variety of disciplines, to collaborate on projects that discover, develop, and communicate the stories of Unsung Heroes in history.

Thom Knab is the 2018 NAEA National Elementary Art Educator, the NAEA Eastern Region Elementary Art Educator, and the New York State Art Teacher of the Year. While addressing learning standards, Thom always includes components which allow students to make decisions, express themselves, and reach ever upward. He created the BRAG (Brick Room Art Gallery) at his elementary school where over 250 student works can be exhibited, allowing Thom to "brag" about students' artistic accomplishments. Additionally, he arranged for student-created murals displayed throughout his school and initiated a 2014 "Roadrunner Art Walk" on the community's Main Street, with the artwork of 80 students displayed in business windows. When asked what he does, Thom shares, "I teach children…I just try to reach them through art."

Mr. Knab believes in service to his profession and passionately advocates for the power and importance of the visual arts. He is the current president of the National Art Education Association (NAEA), the past president of the New York State Art Teachers Association (NYSATA), and has assisted with writing district visual art curriculum, technology curriculum and curriculum for the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Freedom Wall Project. Thom has advocated for the arts on Capitol Hill in Albany, NY, has been a presenter at many NAEA national conventions and NYSATA state conferences, and has provided professional development for his school district colleagues, with an upcoming presentation in Beijing, China.

LMC Executive Director Norm Conard says, "Thomas is a leader in art education and demonstrates great expertise in his field. Recognized as a dynamic, inspiring and compassionate educator by colleagues, students, and community members, Thom possesses the qualities that will make him an outstanding Fellow."

While in Fort Scott, LMC Fellows gain knowledge, educational resources and ongoing support to enhance their classrooms and help students cultivate a passion for learning by creating projects that initiate positive change. Fellows emerge prepared to develop Unsung Heroes projects with their students as they apply and evaluate the stories of role models who have changed the world throughout history.

To schedule interviews or for more information, please contact: 

Norm Conard
Executive Director
Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes
1 South Main
Fort Scott, KS 66701
Phone: (620) 223-1312

2019 Lowell Milken Center Fellow
Name: Thomas Knab
School: Dodge Elementary School
Subject: K-4 Art Educator
1900 Dodge Road
East Amherst, NY 14051
Cell Phone: (716) 998-1603