The Mariemont City School District Award of Excellence is awarded annually to an individual who exemplifies dedication to and support of Mariemont City Schools. Elementary and junior high art teacher Shelley Komrska is the recipient of the 2022-23 Award of Excellence.
Shelley has been a staple in the MCSD art department for 26 years, teaching elementary and junior high students in a variety of different art courses and mediums.
She has never shied away from traveling and bringing her love of different cultures into her teaching. Together with the Cincinnati/Kharkiv Sister City Partnership she created a cross cultural art show for students at MCSD and the Lyceum of the Arts School #133 in Kharkiv, Ukraine to demonstrate the similarities and differences in the lives of students from across the globe. For three years, students from both schools had their artwork on display in the Mariemont community before traveling across the world for a second exhibit in Ukraine.
During the 2021-2022 school year, she expanded the partnership with Ukraine into a fourth grade classroom, matching pen pals with young Ukrainian students.
Shelley attends the show in Ukraine as a representative of MCSD and has continued her friendship and partnership with the people of Ukraine despite the war pausing the art show this school year.
She has literally left her mark on the school building with a giant quilt of various local landmarks handstitched by students, as well as an outdoor mural she orchestrated with local artist Cedric Cox. She also led students in creating a life-size Van Gogh bedroom and took the students to the Van Gogh exhibit.
She is constantly giving up planning periods to meet with kids who need mentoring, a listening ear or just love art. This year she used her planning period to meet with a group of 4th graders to lead them through an analytical and interpretive process to study and critique art.
Her colleagues call her the “quarterback of the art department” and she was nominated for this award by students, staff and families alike.