In October during the Virginia Art Education Association (VAEA) Professional Development Conference, Cave Spring High School’s digital photography and computer graphics art teacher, Anne Pfeiffer, was selected as Virginia’s top Secondary Art Teacher of the Year.
“It was a surprise. I was shocked because for all these years I had seen all these other people getting the award but I never pictured myself up there,” Pfeiffer said. “It’s an honor.”
Pfeiffer received the award by being nominated by her peers and the VAEA.
Pfeiffer is currently the director of Secondary Education for the AE for the state of Virginia and is also in charge of the electronic gallery for the state. She grew up in Baltimore and attended VCU where she majored in sculpture. Pfeiffer didn’t become a teacher right out of school; in fact she didn’t become a teacher until she was 31 years old. Pfeiffer worked in publishing prior to teaching. She moved to the Roanoke area about 16 years ago and taught IB Art and 3D art in Roanoke city for about eight years. Some of her careers throughout her life include being a book editor, illustrator, and photographer. She has been teaching at Cave Spring for nine years.
“I had worked on computers since 1985, which is why I don’t have trouble teaching computers. Publishing helped me teach graphic design,” she said.”I’ve always enjoyed being creative. I think when you are a creative person it’s a compulsion. It’s never boring teaching, there’s always surprises. I’m easily bored and it’s never boring.”
Pfeiffer received her Master’s Degree from Hollins University here in Roanoke in 2001. She was in the MALS program and her concentration was painting.
She is the mother of two, both of whom are very artistic. One currently works as an illustrator and the other does photography.
Some of Pfeiffer’s accolades include writing curriculum for Roanoke County and Roanoke City, Southwest Virginia EA Secondary Art Teacher of the Year (times two!), she runs a blog for digital art educators with followers from all over the country, and often does workshops around the area. View her blog here. She also worked as a freelance photographer for a paper in Baltimore and has had her illustrations published.
She also created some of the murals in Grandin and her artwork is frequently in group art shows. She regularly review books for Focal Press (a publisher of photography books) and is on the teacher advisory board for Virginia Tech’s Center for Creative Technologies in the Arts and a freelance web designer.
“We are very glad we came here to raise our children,” Pfeiffer said.