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Woodruff honors local art teacher
Gore recognized for work with students
-A-Gore Award pic4
Chris Gore, right, art teacher at Dawson County High School, received a $2,500 award April 21 from the Woodruff Arts Center. Upon receiving the honor, Gore thanked his college professor, Tommye Scanlin, left. - photo by Elizabeth Hamilton

A Dawson County High School art teacher was recognized Saturday by the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta for championing the positive effects of art on students.

Chris Gore was one of five honorees in the second annual Woodruff Salutes Georgia Arts in Education Leaders award program.

Wayne Chelf, principal of the high school, described Gore as "an artist who teaches rather than a teacher that does art."

"We are honored and proud to show those of the Woodruff Arts Center what we have known for years," Chelf added. "Today was a great celebration for the tremendous work of an exceptional person."

Gore, who received $2,500 for the school's arts program, said he has the pleasure of working with some of the greatest people around.

"Whatever I am, I am because of you," said Gore to his peers and students. "I know there are tons of art teachers out there who do what I do every day. I am grateful for the honor of receiving this award."

Joseph Bankoff, president and chief executive officer of the center in Atlanta, made the presentation.

"The program is designed to honor teachers, school and arts administrators, community leaders, and volunteers throughout Georgia who have championed and demonstrated the ability of the arts to impact positively the lives and learning of young people," Bankoff said.

He thanked his students for their hard work and making the program work so well each year. Being positive, he said, and showing students what they are doing right can be effective.

"Once you show a student what they do well, it builds their confidence and from then you can take a step forward ... it works," said Gore of his art program.

Bankoff said he was impressed with how the school is using the arts in an integrated way to create a learning environment.

"Chris Gore is a true artist in his own right who is very good and skilled at teaching the arts as an art," Bankoff said. "We are here today to honor him as well as the pioneering pathway that he has created into an art program."

Bankoff added that Gore has "changed the lives of his students, changed the environment in which learning takes place, and partnered with a wide variety of faculty, administrators and colleagues to make a difference for this community."

According to Bankoff, the Woodruff Arts Center is the fourth largest performing arts center in the nation. It works with leaders and schools throughout the state to show why the arts count, and that education is part of that mission.