General George A. McCall Teacher Named 2022 Pennsylvania Art Education Association Outstanding Elementary Art Educator

A School District of Philadelphia art teacher has been selected as the 2022 Pennsylvania Art Education Association (PAEA) Outstanding Elementary Art Educator. Erica Mandell, an art educator at General George A. McCall, was selected from nominations across the Commonwealth and is now under consideration for the National Art Education Association’s Outstanding Art Educator Award.

“Erica is a shining example of an art educator who embraces equitable and inclusive practices and who tirelessly advocates for her students and other teachers,” said Leslie Grace, President of the PAEA and Art Teacher at George W. Nebinger Elementary School. “She aims to uplift the voices of her students and shares her vast knowledge with other educators, and is well-deserving of this prestigious honor.”

The Pennsylvania Art Education Association is an organization that actively supports and promotes visual art education through professional development, leadership, and service. Mandell was selected from nominations across the Commonwealth.

“It is an honor to be recognized for the time I’ve spent supporting my students, my community, and future art teachers. I really appreciate being able to work with such wonderful artists and teachers” says Mandell.

Mandell earned a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts with an Art Education concentration from Temple University’s Tyler School of Art and Architecture. She earned a Master’s degree in Art Education from Moore College of Art and Design with an emphasis on inclusive practices and completed her thesis work on supporting English Language Learners in the art classroom. Mandell has been a full time art teacher for over eleven years.

Following graduation in 2011, she taught in New Jersey and Arizona before joining the School District of Philadelphia. Mandell has taught at the Honorable Luis Muñoz Marín, Robert E. Lamberton and James J. Sullivan schools before settling into Gen. George G. McCall for the last five years.

Mandell has been recognized in SchoolArts Magazine for her work as an art teacher and efforts to curate an art show at Cherry Street Pier in spring 2021 with her middle school students. Their art work on their chosen social topics that celebrated a community or highlighted a problem that they felt needs to change. She is excited to continue to provide more visual arts opportunities for her students.

Outside of teaching, she also mentors newly hired teachers through the District’s Office of Teaching and Learning and supports pre-service art educators at the Philadelphia University of the Arts and Temple University through guest lectures and as a co-operating teacher. She is very active in the local art education community, running professional developments at the District level and through Philadelphia Art Teachers Alliance (PATA), a group of Philadelphia art educators who meet monthly.

Mandell was recognized during an awards ceremony at the PAEA 2022 Conference in Lancaster on October 30. Mandell and her students’ artwork can be found on Instagram at @mccall_artists.