Dulcinea Myers-Newcomb lauded for her many accomplishments

by: REVIEW PHOTO: JILLIAN DALEY - Dulcinea Myers-Newcomb is Oregon Art Education Associations Oregon Middle Level Art Educator of the Year.Dulcinea Myers-Newcomb is not prone to idleness.

“I keep very busy, and I like to be involved,” said Myers-Newcomb, a Lakeridge Junior High School art educator.

Those who know her might call that a bit of an understatement — including Wilson High School art teacher Marie Pearson, who nominated Myers-Newcomb for the Oregon Art Education Association’s Oregon Middle Level Art Educator of the Year award.

“She’s very accomplished,” Pearson said. “I’ve got a whole list of things that she’s done, and the list is just super long. She’s a really dedicated teacher. She’s done several art clubs. She is really involved in the Lake Oswego School District.”

She’s also humble.

Earlier this year, when Myers-Newcomb saw the email that she’d nabbed the award Pearson nominated her for, she read the announcement six times to make sure she hadn’t misinterpreted it.

“My reaction was disbelief at first and joy, excitement, and I’m very honored, very honored,” she said.

Myers-Newcomb recommended Pearson to be the education association’s Rookie of the Year — and they had a good laugh when they learned they were nominating each other. Pearson, who also pocketed her award, came to know Myers-Newcomb when she substituted for her, filling in when she went on maternity leave.

“I love Dulcinea,” Pearson said. “She is so warm, and she is so helpful. She is a great teacher. She is a great person. She’s a terrific mother.”

Myers-Newcomb, who calls Northeast Portland home, has a 2-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Jared Lewis.

She is entering her 16th year in the Lake Oswego School District. The 38-year-old has helped students explore their creative sides at both junior high schools and Lakeridge High School but mostly at Lakeridge Junior High.

She founded the art club at Lakeridge (then Waluga) Junior High in 1998, brought to the school a traveling exhibit that’s an homage to Frida Kahlo, established the school art gallery and facilitated 15 full-wall murals at the school.

Myers-Newcomb created a do-it-yourself student field trip called Experiencing the Art World, and she led a student art tour in New York City. She founded her school’s Arts Night, an art, dance, theater and poetry event that drew hundreds of people.

“She has a tremendous impact on our whole school,” Lakeridge Junior High Principal Kurt Schultz said. “She’s endlessly positive and just a source of energy and enthusiasm for kids and staff.”

Her high school art teacher was her inspiration, and she tries to imbue her students with the joy of making things — no matter how they do it.

“There’s not one answer, and there are so many ways to be creative,” she said.

Lewis, a structural engineer, said his wife has a way of reaching all of her students.

“She has this really great ability to show people, to demonstrate how the creative world can function with those people who are left brainers like me,” he said.

Myers-Newcomb spearheaded The Art Department, an organization for art teachers; and she put together the In the Artist’s Home workshop series for art educators. She composed the school district’s junior high art curriculum twice.

She has mentored 10 college interns.

She is a member of Oregon Art Education Association and a former advocacy chairwoman for the group. She also finds time to maintain a teacher’s blog.

A photographer, drawer, painter and potter, her work has appeared in shows such as the Sketchbook Project National Tour, Portland Love Show and Portland State University Alumni Exhibition. She received her bachelor’s degree in drawing, painting, printmaking and general education studies from PSU and earned a master’s in teaching from Lewis & Clark College.

What’s more, she was a member of and choreographer for Gypsy Caravan Dance Company International, a belly-dancing group.

She loves putting her art education and experience to use, guiding students who may someday have students or studios of their own. She loves their joie de vivre and promise.

“That’s one of the great things about being an art teacher,” she said.

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