Logan High School's art teacher, Stephen Justice, was pretty busy this past school year teaching his students the ancient art of pottery, expanding the school's annual art festival and even having one of his students' artwork displayed at Tamarack in Beckley.

So when Dr. Ray Lowther, fine arts coordinator for the West Virginia Department of Education, sent an email to Justice announcing that he had been selected to be a member of a committee overseeing the instructional materials for the statewide visual arts curriculum, he called it a "great honor" for both himself and Logan High School.

"I just feel like it's a great honor for not only me to represent Logan High School, but it's a great honor to be selected to work with Dr. Lowther and in selection for criteria in the state," Justice said. "I'm very honored to do so.

The move came after Lowther attended this year's LHS art festival, which was extended to an entire week for the first time and featured over 200 art pieces along with music and other entertainment.

Justice will meet in Charleston on July 18 and July 19 with two other secondary visual art teachers and three elementary visual art teachers to set criteria and develop procedures for looking at new instructional materials from a variety of publishers for visual art textbooks. The team will review copies from these publishers from the end of July through the end of December and will meet again in January to assess their reviews.

"Mr. Justice was selected because of his passion for visual art education, his experience teaching a wide spectrum of students from various backgrounds and performance levels, and his uncanny ability to be creative with limited resources while sustaining a vision of what can be done for all West Virginia students," Lowther said.

LHS Principal Kelly Stanley was pleased with Lowther's decision.

"I think that it's awesome that someone at the state department has seen everything that he is doing with students in his art classes and would value his professionalism to play a role in that," she said.

Dylan Vidovich is a news reporter for HD Media. Contact him by phone at 304-896-5196 or follow him on Twitter @DVidovichLB.

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