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Laura Greene-White

Director of Education

“I knew I could seek to grow these kids and they
would not fail.”

Laura Greene-White had good reason to believe that she could help at-risk students achieve things they had never thought possible, including graduation from high school.

As one of only a handful of teachers with National Board Certification in Visual Art-a certification she says was more demanding than earning her master’s degree–Laura knew first-hand about the power of the arts to help students succeed–particularly students from economically disadvantaged neighborhoods. She had already applied her unique training to form a successful international baccalaureate arts program that was helping at-risk students at Withrow International High School earn college credits.

Then, the Cincinnati Arts & Technology Center (CATC) asked Laura to take on the challenge of designing programs to help the most at-risk students across all of Cincinnati Public high schools. Discovering what she calls a “refreshing, can-do” attitude among adults, students and administrators alike at CATC, Laura accepted the job.

Since joining CATC in 2004

Laura has been pivotal to the agency’s success in helping to graduate more than 90% of its participating students. First, she designed a curriculum of courses that meet rigorous state standards for earning high school credits. Into the courses, she wove methods for teachings students how to analyze problems, process information, develop themes for their work, and give and receive constructive input.

The code of conduct Laura teaches is “all-business.” Expectations rang from not wearing hats in the building to meeting peoples’ eyes during conversation, and a “no-excused-absences” policy. She explains to students why these things matter in the business world or higher education. And she provides daily coaching to help the students overcome formidable obstacles at home, work or school. To offer students leadership opportunities, Laura formed an internship program where second-year students mentor the new students.

More recently, Laura has engaged other non-profits, such as Cincinnati Works, in building job readiness programs for graduates, and has been working with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in a ground-breaking employment program for graduating students.

We sold it, we sold it!

Each year, Laura plans an agenda of outside presenters, college campus and art gallery visits, and student art shows where students often learn for the first time that they can do something other people might find valuable. Once, two burly football players came bounding out of the gallery after selling a painting, shouting “we sold it, we sold it,” and Laura knew she was exactly where she wanted to be. “Miss Laura” works directly with hundreds of individual students, helping them to dream dreams they never thought possible, and create plans for making their dreams come true.

Professional summary:

  • Director of education, Cincinnati Arts & Technology Center, 2004 – present
  • International baccalaureate visual arts instructor, Withrow International High School, 2001-2004.
  • Art teacher, 1977 – 2001:
    • Eastern Hills Foreign Language Academy (Cincinnati, OH)
    • Parkway Local Schools (Rockford, OH)
    • Harlingen Local Schools (Harlingen, TX)
  • Professional honors:
    • Lifetime Achievement Award, Project Nehemiah “Salute to Excellence in Education” 2008
    • Mayor’s Award, “Salute to Excellence in Education” 2008
    • Finalist, Hawkin’s Educator of the Year Award, 2008 and 2009
    • Featured in Cincinnati Business Courier article on local business women, 2007
    • Teacher of the Year, Eastern Hills, Cincinnati Public Schools, 1987.
    • Teacher of the Year, Parkway Local Schools, 1983
  • Award winner, National Geographic arts competition, New York City, 1975
  • Degrees:
    • National Board Certification in Visual Art, adolescent to young adult, 2004
    • Masters in Education, with concentration in multiple intelligence and find art, University of Rio Grande, Rio Grand, Ohio, 2001
    • Bachelor of Science in Education, Bowling Green State University, 1975
    • Bachelor of Fine Arts, concentration in commercial art and design, 1975