Dennis Phillips was “blown away” when he found out he had received an Arts Business Education Consortium Distinguished Arts Teacher Award.
An art teacher at Timberview Middle School, Phillips is a self-proclaimed enthusiast of art and photography and dabbles in most areas of art himself.
He’s passionate about the field and serves as president of the board of the Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts in Palmer Lake. He also is involved with the community center and gallery and produces musical events and art shows for School District 20.
“Being able to go to school every day and support kids in creation is the biggest reward of my job,” he said.
Kay LaBella nominated Phillips for the award.
“He has a huge heart for the arts but even bigger for his students having opportunities to experience the arts in as many ways as possible and as often as possible,” she said.
Phillips’ communication with other instructors about integrating arts into their content areas was instrumental in the designation of Timberview Middle School as a Kennedy School of Distinction for Arts Across the Curriculum.
Phillips has been active in art for more than 21 years and enjoys seeing his students’ work displayed in the community.
He said he wants to change the minds of others when it comes to art.
“People in general still throw it in the category of fluff,” he said. “The educational system shows that students will do better if they have art in their life. I know it’s a challenge teachers face.”
Phillips also helped with the Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts in the annual Academy School District 20 Spring Art Program.
Phillips and his wife, Lisa, have two boys, Jason, a 21-year-old communications major at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and Austin, a 19-year-old Pikes Peak Community College student.
LaBella said one of the things she appreciates most about Phillips is his attitude.
“His favorite quote is ‘no worries,’” she said. “He’s just an amazing person.”