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“Debi West has a deep understanding of what works in education: motivating students, engaging parents, and

making schools vibrant contributors to community life. Her arts-based expertise transforms schools into places where students want to gather and eagerly anticipate learning. She worked with our student teachers extensively at the University of Georgia and when I relocated to Illinois she was a natural choice for our state’s Keynote Speaker.”      

-Richard Siegesmund, Ph.D

Professor of Art-Design

School of Art and Design, Northern Illinois University                                                                      

“Debi West is an inspiring art educator.  She is a speaker with deep knowledge of teaching and learning, who captivates her audience with her boundless energy and innovative teaching strategies. In her presentations to my students on our university campus and in her selfless mentoring of student teachers, Debi communicates her personal and professional teaching experience in ways that have a profound impact.  Debi West motivates all of us in education to renew our vision and commitment to our students and rekindle our passion for art in our lives”.

 -Melody K. Milbrandt, Ph.D

Associate Director, Ernest G. Welch School of Art and Design

Professor of Art Education, Georgia State University             

“Ms. West captured our students’ imagination through telling a story she had written, Eliminopee and the Alphabet Tree. She further engaged our children by challenging them to illustrate the story she told. These illustrations were combined to make a beautiful collage canvas that our children will treasure for many years to come. It hangs proudly in our atrium! We look forward to working with Ms. West in the future.”

-Cheryl Newsted

Retired Art Educator, Pate's Creek Elementary, Stockbridge, GA



“The Kentucky Art Education Association had Debi come and speak to our members during our Fall Conference 2013.  She was an inspirational keynote speaker as she inspired us all to set the beat for our school, making art the heART of our schools.  She is a strong advocate and a dynamic speaker.”

-Kim Soule

Past President Kentucky Art Education Association

NAEA Secondary Division Director



”Over the course of 24 years, I have witnessed Debi West fill the room with her dynamic and engaging presentations in local, state and national arenas. Debi brings a unique mix of expertise in the field of art education and abundant enthusiasm to each and every workshop. Warm, approachable and funny, Debi engages audiences of any age from pre-school through professional art educators/artists and administrators! Debi not only conveys skills and strategies to audiences, she challenges her participants to THINK! Her enthusiasm is contagious and her style is unforgettable!” 

-Dr. Drew Brown

GAEA Past President

National Elementary Art Educator of the Year



“Debi West has amazing passion and enthusiasm for art and for teaching and it shows in the work her students produce and their love for her.  Debi West is a leader with vision. She sees potential in others and builds them up to become leaders as well. Debi’s generous spirit has helped so many become better teachers, leaders and artists throughout our state, our region and our nation! We are fortunate that she is taking this passion to the next level.”

-Kirby Meng

Past President, Georgia Art Education Association

NAEA Past Elementary Division Director



“Debi West is an outstanding art educator! She has the unique gift of being able to share all aspects of her craft passionately with children during instruction, and with her peers in presentations or in conversations. Her belief that art has so much to offer is contagious. She expresses herself with electrifying energy. For fifteen years she has continued to amaze me during our professional networking by sharing information and ideas related to our profession. Debi West will always be an inspiring and gifted art advocate to children and adults alike.” 

-Ivey Coleman

GAEA Conference Coordinator, District President



”Debi West --- Enthusiastic!  Growth mindset!  Leader!  We had Debi at our 2012 combined Nebraska Art Teachers Association (NATA)/Iowa Art Educators Fall Conference as keynote --- amazing message about advocating for visual arts!  Beyond Inspirational!”

-Bob Reeker

Past NATA Co-President

NAEA Western Region Vice President


“Debi West is a dynamic and passionate artist, educator, and advocate.  She has dedicated countless hours promoting art education, developing and implementing best practices in the classroom, identifying and supporting service programs in her school and community, and serving as an exceptional leader at the local, state, and national levels.  I've had the privilege of working with Debi through the National Art Education Association.  Her work promoting art education, and her genuine dedication makes her an excellent speaker.  She is inspiring and we loved having her as our 2017 South Carolina Art Education Association keynote speaker.”

-Meg Skow

Past SCAEA President

NAEA Southeastern Vice President



“It has been stated that art is the lens through which we see the world and understand its meaning. It is in those rare times when a light aligns with the lens to magnify people, project passion, and develop purpose.

Debi West is that lighted-lens through which students see the world, understand their abilities, and inherently build on their success through a purposeful process. It is without reservation that I recommend her as an advocate for the arts, education and as an ally for intrinsic empathy betterment. “

-Stan Dodson, M.A.Ed

Burke County High School Fine Department Chair

GAEA Conference Coordinator



"Debi West's enthusiasm for the arts and passion for creativity were contagious at our school's Fine Arts Day as students discussed visual imagery and "Eliminopee" long after the week was over. The best part about the experience was seeing their reactions to the final piece weeks later after North Gwinnett High school students transformed our student’s artworks into a collaborative mixed-media piece which is now a permanent piece at our school.”

-Cindy Rowe

Art Educator, Pate's Creek Elementary School


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