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Former art teacher named best in the state

Lynn Pass, who retired in June, receives Oregon Art Educator of the Year award


by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - PassA former West Linn-Wilsonville teacher was honored as Oregon Art Educator of Year by the Oregon Art Education Association.

Lynn Pass received her award at a ceremony held in Sisters Oct. 12. Pass taught in the school district for 23 years, retiring from West Linn High School at the end of the 2012-13 school year.

“It was wonderful. I felt honored,” Pass said. “I have amazing colleagues, and to be honored by them was a great life event for me.”

Pass was nominated for the award by Wilsonville High School art teacher Christopher Shotola-Hardt, who currently serves as OAEA president. In his nomination letter, Shotola-Hardt called Pass “a master teacher and an amazing human being” who was instrumental in building WLHS’s strong art program.

“Lynn Pass built a regionally influential art program at West Linn High School, starting out as the sole art teacher and building a program that now boasts three full-time art teachers and a photography teacher,” Shotola-Hardt said. “Lynn has been a tireless advocate for art education.”

Pass called the award the pinnacle of her teaching career.

“You don’t teach in certain ways for awards, but I think it’s nice to be acknowledged,” Pass said. “The career itself was super rewarding, to be able to make a difference in students’ lives every day.”

Since retiring in June, Pass has focused on her own art.

“Most people in art who retire, we continue with our art,” she said. “It’s such a gift, to be able to do what you love.”

She maintains a studio in West Linn, where she lives and has been staying busy.

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Lynn  Pass is selling some of her artwork through the museum shop at Pittock Mansion.“I’m really honored to be an artist for Pittock Mansion now,” Pass said. “Pittock Mansion has some of my work in its museum store, and I’ve been a guest artist. I’ve shown work there now twice. ... I’m working on designing some (holiday) ornaments for them and I’m working on some things for the centennial celebration, which is in 2014.”

Pass sells her work through an Etsy site, Iconic Glass. When she’s not in the studio, she and her husband enjoy traveling in their Airstream trailer and visiting with friends. They have two daughters who live in Japan and San Luis Obispo, Calif.

“All my friends say, ‘You’re not really retired; you’re working so much in your studio.’ Teaching is a lot of work, but every day I’d get up and think about the things the kids were going to make and I’d be excited for what they’re going to do. ... It doesn’t feel like work when it’s something you’re passionate about. I believe that in my soul, and I always told my students that.”

For students now studying art in the school district, Pass had a simple message:

“Continue to be passionate about your work. Enjoy learning new things, and push yourself beyond your comfort zone,” she said. “Take in all the information that you’re given and see how it applies to your vision and your art. ... You can’t help but be a success when you do something you love.”

Visit Pass’s website at iconicglass.net to learn more about her artwork.

Kate Hoots can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and 503-636-1281, ext. 112. Follow her on Twitter, @CommuniKater.



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