Clinton, Iowa - A middle school teacher is inspiring students to create the next masterpiece.
Taitum Strube, a 7th grader at Lyons Middle School, is thankful for her creative teacher who takes time to share his techniques with his many students.
That's why she made sure to nominate him for this years "My Favorite Teacher" award.
Hearing her read her nominating letter, it's easy to understand why Taitum Strube nominated her art teacher, Mr. Hartley.
"Even though he is only one person, he always manages to make it around to everyone in the room who needs help in each class period. He teaches you in a way that makes the technique easy for you and so that your project is the best it can be," says Taitum.
She says his effort helped her fine tune her art skills.
"I try really hard but like sometimes they don't turn out how I want. I'm not all that great of an artist but when he helps it makes it way better then I could have made it," said Tatum.
Mr. Hartley disagrees, complimenting Taitum on her knack for creating great art and even putting one of her projects on display.
"We do little clay guys and hers is awesome. It's out there for a reason.
Taitum says she likes to see the art on display.
"We have art all over the school and it's nice to see something that you did and your friends can see and be like, 'Thats cool'."
Those projects start in Mr. Hartley's classroom.
"Art is one of those cool classes where you don't have to be in a textbook and memorize a bunch of stuff," Hartley says, "It allows the kids to think a little differently and there are some real problems solving skills that come into play."
Building skills and friendships that help to shape students like Taitum.
Because her "My Favorite Teacher" nomination was selected, Taitumis getting a $200 Visa check card from Black Hawk Bank and Trust. Mr. Hartley gets a $25 gift certificate to "Teacher's Aide" from Community Health Care, and the class is getting So-Be Life Water.