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      Houghton Elementary art teacher wins national award

      Melissa Hronkin, courtesy Houghton Portage Township Elementary School

      Houghton Elementary art teacher, Melissa Hronkin has been awarded by the National Art Education Association, NAEA, as the Michigan Art Instructor of the Year as well as the National Art Instructor of the Year.

      Hronkin was given the state award over the summer in 2013 and the national award this winter.

      She teaches approximately 650 kindergarten-through-fifth grade students at the elementary school and has been teaching art for 14 years. She says she frequently experiments with new art styles, such as the use of beeswax, or encaustic.

      Hronkin says when she received the email notifying her of the national award, she, at first, thought it was sent by mistake!

      â??It's a humbling honor, and I just feel really lucky to be able to be in a community that's supportive of the arts,â?? said Hronkin. â??It's really quite an honor to work with such vibrant young artists every day.â??

      Hronkin will be traveling to San Diego at the end of the month to receive her award at the NAEA awards ceremony.