Year Honored: 1999Sky View High School
At the time of the Award, Zan Burningham was:Department Head
Sky View High School
Grade(s): 10, 11, 12
Zan Burningham, art department head at Sky View High School in Smithfield, learned the power of a teacher's influence early in life. Diagnosed with a learning disability when she was a child, Burningham's life was transformed when a seventh-grade drama teacher lovingly taught her to read. Since then, she has become a widely recognized leader in art education, incorporating multi-sensory techniques, mastery learning and discipline-based art education. Sixty-seven of Burningham's art students have won full-tuition college scholarships over the past 17 years. When two of her students won a prestigious National Secondary Art Student of the Year Award, it was the first time that students from the same state had won the award two years in a row. In addition to teaching, Burningham is currently a visual arts consultant for the Utah State Office of Education, for which she is also writing the Utah Visual Arts Core curriculum. She has taught in Russia four times through the American Councils for International Education's (ACIE) international exchange program, which pairs U.S. and Russian teachers, and was even granted official permission to own land and build a home in Russia.