TAEA is a dynamic, inclusive, and diverse professional community that shares a commitment to NAEA’s mission and vision.

The TAEA Board of Directors is comprised of and elected by members. Your involvement means that TAEA benefits from a broad and rich mix of ideas, perspectives, and life experiences, and is committed to nurturing diversity of all kinds among leadership and service opportunities.



TAEA Board Member Elections



Dr. Jeanie Parker
Dr. Jeanie Parker has been an art educator for twenty-four years. She has served on the TAEA board as secretary, at her school as the Fine Arts Department chair, and as a facilitator at the Tennessee Arts Academy.

Dr. Parker has designed 5 courses at Maryville High School. Her students have won multiple awards at Knoxville Museum of Art Regional Student Show, the Tennessee Valley Fair, and the Dogwood Art Show. These awards include Best in Show and numerous Best in Category awards. Her students have gone on to work as designers, art directors, fine artists, and art teachers.

She has won the governor’s school award for excellence in art education as well as the Tennessee Art Education Association secondary art teacher of the year. She has been a member of TAEA for all of her twenty-four years as a proud art educator.


Dr. David Meade
Dr. David Meade has been an active member of NAEA for the past eight years. He has been teaching at Joseph Rogers Primary for the past five years and recently accepted a position as a Graduate Instructor for The Art of Ed University. Dr. Meade currently serves as Secretary for TAEA, Membership Liaison for NAEA LGBTQ+, and Vice-President for HCEA. He is also the lead art teacher for Hawkins County Schools. He headed the development of a skills map and scope and sequence for the district. Dr. Meade works with TDOE as part of the Tennessee Fine Arts Portfolio Focus Group.

Dr. Meade was part of the planning committee for the 2018 & 2019 TAEA Fall conferences, planning the reception for both events, and is also part of the TAEA Social Media Committee. Dr. Meade serves on several committees within his school and district.   He is also the Super Session coordinator for the 2019 Fall conference. Dr. Meade presented at the NAEA 2016, 2018, and 2019 National conferences and has been accepted to present in 2020. His passion and drive for the arts and education serve him well in these roles as he provides many professional development presentations at the local, regional, state, and national levels for various types of education.

Previously, Dr. Meade served as Treasurer for 10 years for the Sugarcreek Borough Crime Watch and received over $50,000 in grants funds, the Historian of the Ketron Elementary PTO, and the Teacher Lead of Joseph Rogers Primary PTO. These positions show his knowledge of Roberts Rules of Order for running and leading meetings.



Sherry Jankiewicz
My name is Sherry Jankiewicz, and I am seeking election to the TAEA board as Treasurer.  I taught in Howard County, Maryland for 13 years as an elementary and middle school art teacher, and today I am a professor and supervisor for the art education program at the University of Tennessee.  Through my years of teaching, I managed the school budget provided by the county for all art supplies by tracking spending amounts and reimbursements and placing orders by specific deadlines.  I led, organized, and hosted numerous events at my school to raise money for local organizations, such as our local food bank, and accounted for expenditures and profits earned.  Recently, I was a project coordinator for an art brokerage company keeping calendars, lists of artists and their project submissions, and project deadlines.   Throughout my years of teaching in Maryland, I was part of the leadership team and curriculum writing teams and helped disseminate information to my colleagues about our teaching goals and directions.  I presented at the Maryland Art Education Association conference in 2010, am a current member of NAEA, (3 years of membership) and attended the conference in Boston earlier this year.  I will be presenting at the SECAC national conference on social engagement in art education in October.  I am a problem-solver, and I persevere through challenges by understanding my goals, resources, and skills.  I am a “figure it out” and “get it done” type of person.  I have completed a background check in order to be hired by the university and value honesty and integrity.  I am excited to join TAEA’s vibrant community! Thank you for considering me for treasurer.

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Nela Swiney
2019 is my twenty-first year of teaching art education at Dayton City School. Each year, I am responsible for purchasing supplies for 800 students with a budget of only $1500.00. To aid in financing my program, I coordinate all fundraising programs. Other programs I have volunteered, coordinated and fundraised for include: local 4-H youth horse program; past president of DCS PTO for five years; Rhea county high school band program for 8 years; local Girl Scout program.

On a personal note, I was financially responsible for my family's estate after the parent's past away. The estate was in the probate court for seven years with a large (million dollar) size debt in which I was able to bring to a close and return a profit for the family. 

My husband and I have built six family homes, completely on our own. I was responsible for the budget and purchases. We actually built the homes, yes with our own hands and hard work.... along with teaching our own children the process. (all three worked with us) Each of the homes turned a profit and we were able to be out of debt by the age of 55. We are proud of that fact and due to these few accomplishments I have listed, I feel I am equipped to oversee the TAEA finances and advise in the conversations as to the best directions to take when spending and making money for TAEA.

Thank you again for your consideration.


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Ellery Nief
Ellery Nief is a visual art teacher at Inskip Elementary School in Knoxville. Ellery has been a TAEA member since 2014. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Memphis in 2015 and a Master of Art in Education from the University of Nebraska Kearney in 2017 following a capstone historical research paper on the appropriateness of art therapy methods in the art classroom. Ellery serves a chair for the related arts team at her school, having served as the secretary in years past. Ellery has presented research-based professional development at county, state, and national art educator professional learning opportunities. She currently serves as a Lead Teacher at her school where she evaluates peers as a Lead Teacher, and serves on school-based committees for leadership, hiring, and is the yearbook committee chair. She also serves on the Knox County School Visual Arts Department Leadership Team as a Professional Learning Specialist where she collaboratively plans and organizes seven to nine professional learning opportunities per year for visual art educators. Ellery is a fourth-generation artist and in her free time enjoys traveling, making art, and advocating for the integration of student voice in art education.

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Rachel Towne
Rachel Towne is currently an elementary art teacher to students K-5 at Springdale Elementary in Mt. Juliet Tennessee. At her previous school she has served on the PTO board as the faculty representative taking minutes for their meetings, maintaining the schools Facebook page, a team leader, and designing the school yearbook. Throughout her teaching career she has written a blog for art teachers and had two articles published in two different national magazines. Rachel has been a presenter at both TAEA and NAEA conferences and has maintained a membership with NAEA since she began teaching. She has taught in both the private and public sectors during her 12-year career. Rachel also spent a year serving as the membership chair for the Special Needs in Art Education group at the national level. She has also served as a member of the visual arts content counsel for Metropolitan Nashville Public School district as well as a peer reviewer for visual arts growth portfolios. Rachel has been an active member of TAEA, helping with many projects and attending conferences.

East Regional Chair


Angie McCarter
Angie McCarter has been working as a visual art instructor in East Tennessee schools for more than twenty years.  With work experience at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, Ms. McCarter has been involved with TAEA throughout her teaching career.  Earning both a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree, and later, a Master of Science in Art Education at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Ms. McCarter has participated in numerous professional development opportunities, including NAEA national conferences, TAEA state conferences, and TAEA East Regional conferences. In addition, she was selected to attend the National Gallery of Art’s Summer Institute for Educators, attended the Tennessee Arts Academy several times, and facilitated visual art state standards training for the Tennessee Department of Education last summer.  Ms. McCarter has served as a Professional Development Specialist for Knox County Schools’ Art Department for the past four years, and chaired the middle school division committee to rewrite the visual arts curriculum for her district.  Ms. McCarter has served on the TAEA board for the past four years, attending meetings on a consistent basis and working to help TAEA grow stronger as an organization dedicated to promoting the importance of art education in Tennessee.  As Advocacy Chairman for TAEA, she promoted and organized the YAM Flag contest from 2014-2018, and as acting East Regional Representative, planned and facilitated the 2019 East TN Regional Conference. Ms. McCarter has presented numerous professional development sessions to fellow art educators, including attendees at the TAEA State Conference last year in Gatlinburg.  She looks forward to helping make this year’s East Regional Conference even more successful than last year’s, with new classes and instructors being offered to participants.  As TAEA East Regional Representative, she hopes to increase support for East Tennessee art educators and work for strengthening visual art programs throughout the East Tennessee region.  Angie lives in Knoxville with her dog Dudley, and enjoys baking and painting.

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Caitlin Seidler
Caitlin Seidler has been an art teacher with Knox County Schools for nine years. At Fulton High School, she was Secretary of the Leadership Team for three years and currently is serving another term as Chair. She also was a member of Fulton’s Instructional Focus Committee. With the Knox County Schools Art Department, she was a member of the Curriculum Committee and Textbook Committee, served as a Peer mentor to first-year teachers and as a Professional Learning Specialist to assist district teachers with the Fine Arts Portfolio; and was a Fine Arts Portfolio Peer Reviewer. Additionally, she has been on the Board of her Condominium Owners’ Association for more than five years, first as Secretary and currently as President.

Before becoming a teacher, Caitlin was an editor for five years at an educational publisher in Chicago. Since leaving the publishing industry, she has competed numerous freelance and pro bono editing and layout projects for publishers and nonprofit organizations. In 2018, she was contracted by the Tennessee Department of Education to work with a committee of fine arts  educators to write and edit a one-day training on the Tennessee Fine Arts Standards and prepare facilitators to deliver the training across the state.

Caitlin has been a member of NAEA since beginning her Master of Arts in Teaching at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, serving as President of SAIC’s student chapter; she has been a member of TAEA since moving to Knoxville in 2010. Caitlin published an article in Art Education in November 2011, “Fighting Disability Stereotypes with Comics,” based on her master’s thesis research. Caitlin’s conference presentations include “Community-Building Activities for the Secondary Art Classroom” at the 2019 National Convention in Boston and “Keeping Early Finishers Engaged” both in Boston and at the 2018 TAEA Fall Conference.

Middle Regional Chair


Heather Daily McHugh
A lifelong learner and practitioner of her craft, Heather Daily McHugh has invested her entire life to making and promoting visual arts. Heather’s upbringing in a family that traveled the globe with the US Air Force instills a spirit that drives her passion for teaching- instilling a sense of discovery and purposeful intent in the design thinking of her students.  With a passion for culture and art history, Heather takes students on explorations abroad each summer to expand their global perspective and instill a sense of confident inquiry. Heather likewise heads up the National Art Honors Society at Brentwood high School for the 4th year running, creating opportunities for her students to invest in the community through art making experiences.

Holding her Master of Arts in Teaching from Belmont University, completing special graduate coursework in 3D Design at The Ohio State University and completing extensive research on Visual Culture and the origins of Art in Paleolithic works, Heather’s curiosity and verve for life is contagious. Heather has taught for Williamson County Schools since 2003, and presently teaches AP Art & Design, AP Art History and dedicated 3D Design courses at Brentwood High School. Heather was essential in creating and leading PD for the art educators in her county, and likewise Heather Has been a presenter at the Tennessee State Art Educators conference (cheekwood) as well as presented on a national level at the NAEA conference in New Orleans, 2008.

Heather was recognized as a National Fulbright Teaching Scholar in 2008, and earned a fellowship abroad when she was named Tennessee Outstanding Teacher of the Humanities by Humanities TN/ National Endowment for the Humanities in 2009.

Heather is an advocate for continued learning and spends over 100 hours every summer attending PD conferences from TN Arts academy, to Arts Intensive at TN Tech to the Educators Forum at SCAD SAVANNAH.

Aside from teaching, Heather is a successful licensed commercial artist and an accomplished furniture designer with several companies out of High Point, North Carolina.

West Regional Chair


Jorden Miernik-Walker
My name is Jorden Miernik-Walker. I am a Visual Arts Educator, Tennessee Arts Education Association and National Arts Education Association member. I am a former Shelby County School Arts Teacher and currently work for the University of Memphis as the Arts Enrichment Coordinator, Atelierista, and University Middle Arts Instructor. I am a graduate of Memphis College of Art where I received both my BFA in Photography and Sculpture and my Masters in Art Education. Over the past ten years I had been working with MCA in the Community Education department as an Arts Instructor.

During my time with SCS, I was also a Mentor Teacher and aid to the Visual Arts Advisor, Kelly Hatton, where I helped plan events like ArtsFest, District Learning Days, and Professional Developments. I have been lead facilitator for Professional Development covering Curriculum, Projects, and Behavior Management. The position also allowed me to have served on the Portfolio Review committee scoring teacher portfolios while following the National Standards for Visual Arts as an outlined rubric.

In my currently position at the Early Learning and Research Center, I oversee a staff of 10 Student Teachers and Graduate Students creating an engaging and enriching afterschool program. We provided students with access to Ceramics, Robotics, Chinese, Soccer, Gymnastics and Orff Music. During the school day, I am the Alelierista (Studio Teacher) to approximately 120 two to six year olds. Coming to the Atelier, students work in small project groups based on interests they explore in their regular classrooms. I also travel to the new UoM Campus Middle School and hold art classes for approximately forty-five (half-total) students, where we follow the Shelby County Visual Arts Curriculum for sixth grade.

This is also my third year as a mural painter for Paint Memphis, creating personal designs for buildings in Memphis.


Nominations are currently closed. Thank you for submitting your proposals!