“We grow amazing art teachers by providing rigorous, relevant, and engaging learning at every stage of their career.”

What is The Art of Education?

The Art of Education (AOE) is an innovative higher learning institution committed to delivering amazing professional development to art educators everywhere.

The Art of Education not only promotes the idea of lifelong learning but actually makes it happen. Lifelong learning can only occur when continuous, connected, and creative content is delivered in an engaging fashion over a lifetime.

The Art of Education’s distance education courses, conferences, workshops, and other valuable resources provide unique and practical learning opportunities for every art teacher at every stage of their career.



Art Ed PRO

Online Magazine

Lesson Plans




A Letter From Our Founder

Hi, I’m Jessica Balsley. Founder and President at the Art of Education.

Several years ago as an art teacher working towards my Master’s Degree I began a search for a university with courses designed for art teachers, but came up short. 

Like so many art teachers, I struggled to find classes that were relevant, practical, and would actually teach me something valuable to my career as an art educator!

This frustration led to the creation and development of The Art of Education. That year, my husband Derek and I set out on a mission to provide Ridiculously Relevant Professional Development™ to art teachers around the world. 

Since that time, and thanks to our loyal fans, The Art of Education has become the largest provider of professional development for art teachers in the world. 

Today, hundreds of thousands of individuals read our online magazine each month while thousands of art teachers attend our conferences and rely on our online graduate classes for license renewal, salary advancement, or to secure a Master’s Degree.

As art teachers, we all have to stick together. We’re not an afterthought – and we absolutely deserve the highest quality professional development available. The Art of Education exists to empower art teachers, to help them thrive in their profession and succeed in their careers.



Jessica Balsley
Founder, The Art of Education


Katie S.

“Seeking resources on your own time to help you further develop as a professional can be daunting, but AOE has alleviated that. I feel a better sense of community in my profession through this site.”

Cheryl C.

“AOE provides a way for us to connect, to learn, to enjoy each other’s successes and ideas, to seek help, and to laugh with each other. Through vision and a growth mindset, AOE has done something wonderful for all of us, and I am truly thankful!”

Melissa D.

AOE really does provide relevant PD for Art Teachers by staying on the cusp of innovative connections and education movements while breaking them down and making it manageable to understand and apply in the art classroom.”

What’s it like to be on the AOE team?

Building new things and improving the world is hard work, but it’s also a whole lot of fun! Meet the AOE Family.

Meet the Team

The Art of Education’s team of instructors, writers, professional development advisors and administrators—to say nothing of the thousands of teachers that make up our classes, attendance and readership—are the reason that the Art of Education has already impacted millions of K-12 students worldwide. Meet some of the best art teachers and art ed thought leaders in the nation.

Derek Balsley

Founder & CEO

Jessica Balsley

Founder & President

Sarah Ackermann

Chief Academic Officer

E.J. Caffaro

Chief Growth Officer

Rachel Althof

Adjunct Graduate Instructor

Diana Baldensperger

Adjunct Graduate Instructor

Timothy Bogatz

Events Director

Jennifer Borel

Adjunct Graduate Instructor

Joleen Buttjer

Registrar and Team & Culture Manager

Simeon Cardwell

Professional Learning Advisor

Tiffany Carr

Adjunct Graduate Instructor

Patricia Christiansen

Adjunct Graduate Instructor

Heather Crockett

Chief of Staff

Sarah Dougherty

Adjunct Graduate Instructor

Alecia Eggers Kaczmarek

Content Specialist

Shannon Elliott

Adjunct Graduate Instructor

Theresa Gillespie

Adjunct Graduate Instructor

Sarah Hale Keuseman

Adjunct Graduate Instructor and Library Services

Shelly Hardin

Adjunct Graduate Instructor

Tracy Hare

Art Ed PRO Director

Wynita Harmon

Adjunct Graduate Instructor and Writer

Amanda Heyn

Senior Editor

Lacey Huisman

Engagement Manager

Ben Jensen

National Sales Manager

Amber Kane

Adjunct Graduate Instructor and Writer

Jennifer Kay-Rivera

Adjunct Graduate Instructor

Jenna Kelly

Adjunct Graduate Instructor

Shannon Lauffer

Admissions & Academic Advisor

Chelsea Liske

Graphic Designer

Keith March Mistler

Adjunct Graduate Instructor

Andrew McCormick

Adjunct Graduate Instructor

Kim Meyering

Graphic Designer

Shari Mork


Christy Mortimer

Adjunct Graduate Instructor

Alexandra Overby

Adjunct Graduate Instructor

Haley Parker

Adjunct Graduate Instructor

Sheridan Penney

Engagement Specialist & Assistant Registrar

Johanna Russell

Adjunct Graduate Instructor

Carrie Russoniello

Adjunct Graduate Instructor

Abby Schukei

Social Media Manager and Writer

Cindy Tolliver

Marketing Specialist, School Success Manager and Content Coordinator

Sarah Welch

Project Specialist

Debi West

Adjunct Graduate Instructor and Writer

Work With Us

Would you like to work with The Art of Education? Maybe you’d like to be a writer, or an instructor, or a presenter at our next event!

We’re a fun group that works hard to create awesome stuff for art teachers. If you want to make a dent in the Art Ed Universe – we’d love to hear more about you!