Become part of the largest professional organization established by visual arts educators for visual arts educators! When you join or renew your NAEA membership you also become a VAEA member. Your dues give you professional benefits and support Art Education in Vermont.

The National Art Education Association (NAEA) and their State affiliates like VAEA (The Vermont Art Educators Association) advance visual arts education to fulfill human potential and promote global understanding. NAEA supports visual arts educators to bolster your teaching, your career, and your creativity. NAEA resources, benefits, and opportunities are continuously created in direct response to the timely needs of art educators and your students.

The Benefits of Membership Include:

Professional Development: Access timely learning resources including the National Visual Arts Standards that support teaching and learning as well as FREE access to Virtual Art Educators monthly webinars and all webinar archives.

Connectivity: Join the conversation with Collaborate, an interactive, dynamic online professional space, available exclusively to NAEA members. Share information and resources, gain inspiration, and make connections—anytime, anywhere...

Subscriptions: FREE subscriptions to the premier Journal of Art Education and NAEA News—a $72 VALUE!

Leadership: Join Issues Groups and Editorial Boards, serve as a National Convention Proposal Reviewer, participate in international travel/research delegations, be elected to serve on the Board of Directors, apply for the School for Art Leaders, and more!

Discounts: Participate in the NAEA National Convention – submit a presentation proposal, purchase new books and advocacy merchandise, discounted premiere publications, such as the Studies in Art Education, and more—all at a discounted rate! Also, learn about discounts on a variety of insurance programs including Professional Liability Insurance, Life Insurance, Disability Insurance, Health Insurance, Auto & Home Insurance, and Additional Plans & Benefits through Forrest T. Jones & Company offsite link.

Recognition: Gain eligibility for national recognition through awards, grants, and a National Art Honor Society Chapter!

Advocacy: Resources for advocating the importance of visual arts education are at your fingertips!

Board Members


Melissa Kristensen - President

Melissa has been a member of VAEA for over 20 years and decided it was about time she took on a leadership role and is President Elect. Since the current president had to do her Art Methods classes under Melissa, it is appropriate that Lisa now gets to teach her. Melissa teaches at Poultney High School and is National Board Certified. When she is not happily creating chaos with her students she loves to paint and travel.


Jenny Jacobson - Secretary

Jenny Jacobson is the art teacher at the Swanton School, grades K-6, in northwestern Vermont. She would love to hear from members if they would like to share their news on our social media pages. When she is not in the art room, you can find her roaming the hills, forests and streams of Vermont!


Rebecca Carleton - YAM Chair

Rebecca (Rebbie) Carleton has been teaching art to pre-K through Grade 12 Vermont Art Students since 1981.She has been an itinerant art teacher, arts administrator, gallery curator and public school art educator. NAEA selected her as the Eastern Region Arts Educator in 2014 and she was the 2004 Vermont Educator and a finalist for the 2004 Vermont Teacher Of the Year. She has been committed to promoting art education with VAEA in many positions, most recently as the VT representative to NAEA leadership initiatives and as Youth Month Chair.


April Simpson - Membership and Registration Chair

April Simpson is the art educator and studio facilitator at Waits River Valley School in East Corinth in eastern central Vermont. She’s been loving her career of teaching art to elementary and middle school artists since 2008 and volunteering with VTAE/VAEA since 2018. April enjoys experimenting with a variety of media, especially in e-textiles, bookmaking, and printmaking. Let April know if you need any assistance signing up for any of VTAE/VAEA's wonderful workshops!


Lorien Leyden - Webmaster / Social Media

Lorien Leyden is an art educator, licensed to teach K-12! She currently teaches art in Chittenden County and received her Masters of Art & Design Education at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Lorien loves drawing, printing, clay, fiber arts, and most art making techniques. Lorien's other roles include NAEA's LGBTQ+ Interest Group's Curriculum Chair as well as NAEA's DE&I Liaison for Vermont!


​Lisa Bresler -  Past President

Lisa has been passionate about the arts since she was a little girl. She often would gather all the neighborhood kids and hold art classes in the backyard. With over a decade of experience teaching in Vermont public schools, she has learned how to foster student's voices through the arts by promoting choice and challenging the standard. Lisa enjoys learning how the arts can make the world a better place and sharing that perspective with others. She has been volunteering for VTAE for about five years and truly loves the Vermont art educator community. When Lisa is not being an art educator, you can find her in the mountains with her family and friends, enjoying all the beauty Vermont has to offer. She loves anything with adventure and brings this love of the outdoors into her classroom as much as possible.