POTSDAM — The SUNY Potsdam School of Education Alumni Association honored Donnalyn Eaton Shuster, a member of the class of 1978, with the 2013 St. Lawrence Academy Medal, at the college’s annual Reunion Weekend.
The St. Lawrence Academy Medal is presented to a SUNY Potsdam graduate who has made significant contributions to the field of professional education or related fields.
The Alumni Association recognized Shuster for her distinguished teaching career, and in gratitude for her service to her alma mater.
Shuster is the kind of teacher who everyone wishes they could have had in school — a teacher who pours her heart and soul into her work, according to a news release. She is passionate, knowledgeable and completely devoted to her students, the release stated. Throughout her 35-year career as an award-winning art teacher and artist, she has dedicated herself to bringing the joy of art into the lives of her students, and the community as well, the release stated. Shuster has taught art at all grade levels, with equal passion and dedication to her craft, the release stated. For 23 years, she was the middle and high school art teacher in the Frankfort-Schuyler Central School District and currently teaches grades K to 7 art. With her innovative approach, Shuster is constantly organizing exhibits and festivals to showcase student work, in the school and community, according to the release.
On the state level, Shuster helped to bring Youth Art Month to New York and currently serves as co-chair for the event. She is also a trustee for the New York State Art Teachers’ Association, and has become a valuable resource for her colleagues, the release stated. She has presented numerous workshops at the local, state and national level. In recognition of her work, Shuster was awarded the National Art Education Association’s Merit Award in 2012, and this year, she was honored with the Award of Excellence from the Council for Art Education.
As if all that she does for art education isn’t enough, Shuster is a talented working artist who exhibits her own creations at least once a year, in solo exhibits and juried art shows, the release stated. She is also loyal to her alma mater, serving on the SUNY Potsdam Alumni Association Board of trustees and as president of the Greek Alumni Council, the release stated. She also leads the Omega Delta Phi Alumnae Association.
She and her husband, Arthur, own and operate a successful dairy farm in St. Johnsville, which has achieved the Dairy of Distinction Award numerous times.