Community Member Profile: Laurie Sweet

Regional School District No. 6
Litchfield, Connecticut

About Laurie Sweet

Laurie Sweet has been an art teacher for Regional School District No. 6 since 2002 and currently teaches at the district’s three elementary schools: Warren, James Morris, and Goshen Center. Laurie was named 2016 Teacher of the Year for her district and semifinalist for Connecticut Teacher of the Year. She had the opportunity to be participate and collaorate with the CT Teacher of the Year cohort, the Commissioner of Education and the Connecticut State Board of Education Leadership Team. The Sailor’s Valentine Unit of Study was designed for Mystic Seaport and for educatiors to use in their classrooms, which was inspired by artifacts and resources at the Seaport.

Laurie believes that art is a process, a journey of selfexpression while learning new ways to create art, whether from observation, imagination, or exploring a new medium. She encourages students to have curiosity, a sense of belonging, and to have the spirit of adventure using the 4C’s of 21st Centur y Readiness: Critical Thinking, Creativity, Collaboration, and Communication. Laurie is part of Region 6’s Enrichment Team (ETeam) comprised of Art, Music, Instrumental Music, Wellness and Health, Physical Education, MakerSpace, and Spanish. The ETeam supports Interdisciplinary student learning and a growthmindset across all content areas. Interdisciplinary lessons have included creating wholeschool Muhammad Ali and Nelson Mandela portraits, contributing to student generated historical minidocumentary videos, garden to table harvest luncheons, and photographing found letters to promote literacy.

Awards include the Follett Creativity Grant Award for the outstanding creative and collaborative lesson documentary Regarding Amelia. Other recognition is for community fundraising events to support the Northwest Arts Council and The Litchfield Community Center. Prior to teaching elementary art, Laurie taught middle school and high school art for nine
years at Wamogo High School. She collaborated with teachers and developed new learning opportunities for students. Classes initiated were a middle school elective, Computer Graphics, and AP Art History. Later, she developed a Therapeutic Art course, which she cotaught with the school social worker. The course comprised both special needs and typical students. Under Laurie’s mentorship, former high school students have hand painted furniture for community
fundraisers. Students not only realize their talent, but they gain an appreciation of the act of philanthropy.
As an undergraduate, Laurie earned her Certification in Art Education (PreK12) and a BFA in Illustration at Moore College of Art, Philadelphia. After graduating from Moore, Laurie worked in publishing as a graphic designer and assistant art director in Boston. While in Boston, she furthered her art studies on sabbatical at The Humberside College of Art, Hull, England (1993) and at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Interested in Art History, Laurie pursued a
summer AP Art History course at The Taft School. While teaching art over the past thirteen years, Laurie earned a MA in Holistic Thinking at The Graduate Institute. Recently, Laurie attended Feed Your Soul Fellowship at Maine College of Art (summer 2014).

In addition to teaching art, Laurie is a freelance illustrator of SeedTime Studio. She focuses on everyday objects and themes, creating mixed media on paper, wood, or hand painting furniture for community fundraisers. Her illustrations have been published with Random House and Gourmet. Laurie’s passions are architecture, gardening, reading, music, her family, and her Golden Retriever.

This Member's Projects