Board Member Bios
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FOUNDER / CURATOR / VICE-PRESIDENT - Leah Schlief-Freese has been teaching high school art and ceramics for 38 years. She is a graduate of Sam Houston State University. She first started teaching at Tivy High School in Kerrville, Texas and for the last 35 years teaching ceramics at Ursuline Academy of Dallas in Dallas, Texas. In 1998 she began the First National Ceramic Exhibition for Kindergarten to 12th grade students in ceramics arts.
“There was a niche that wasn’t being fulfilled. I knew so many wonderful and talented ceramic art teachers who work tirelessly with our school age children to bring out the best work in their students. I was frustrated by how many competitions, both regional and national, were for 2 D high school student works only. My students’ ceramic work and the ceramic work of so many dedicated teachers were going unnoticed with the lack of a venue for exposure. So, instead of waiting for it to happen, inspired by the passion and dedication I have for K12, I decided to jump in with both feet and create an exhibition. With the help of so many along the way, the National K12 Exhibition Foundation was born. It was very important to me to have the exhibit to coincide with the NCECA conference because I wanted the up and coming ceramic college students, professional ceramic artists and university ceramic professors to see the fruits of our labor. Now, the K12 Exhibition has become a major exhibit at the NCECA conference and the K12 presence is being made known at the conference. This is a proud achievement for the National K12 Exhibition Foundation members.”
Leah, along with Bob Feder, has received recognition from NCECA with the Outstanding Achievement Award, and she has also received the Outstanding Teacher Award from Ursuline Academy.