Teaching Philosophy

Enthusiastic, creative, driven high school art teacher striving to provide a standards based, equitable, art education experience for children and teens full of exploration, experimentation, growth, literacy and rigor all while building a supportive, encouraging and inquisitive community that prepares students for everyday life, college and beyond.

My educational art room is a space for investigation, visual risk taking and, of course, fun!

Licensure and Certifications


Illinois Professional Educator License

K-12 Visual Arts


Colorado Professional Teacher License

K-12 Visual Arts


BACHELOR OF FINE ARTS | Industrial Design

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Dean’s List and James Scholar


Columbia College Chicago


2010 Graduate Opportunity Award Winner

2011 National Art Education Association President, Outstanding Member Award Winner

2011 Rosenblum Award Winner

Teaching Experience

NILES NORTH HIGH SCHOOL | Visual Arts Teacher | 2011 to Present

  • Educating diverse students in all levels of Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Ceramics,

Digital Photography and Graphic Design in a nationally ranked fine arts program.

  • Growing through equity work like Courage Conversations, SEED and department initiatives.

  • Developed an after school National Art Honor Society to enhance student lives.

  • Created unique, on-trend curricula to motivate student achievement and group dynamics.

  • Organized student participation in dozens of art shows.

  • Helped students apply and win prestigious national and regional art awards.

  • Mentored new team members to increase teacher effectiveness.

  • View my distinguished teaching experiences here.

Classes Taught and Student Portfolios


Art Foundations Ceramics1 Digital Photo 1 & 2

Painting & Drawing Ceramics 2 Graphic Design

Advanced Studio Art AP 3D Design Advanced & AP 2D Design

Equity Training Extracurriculars

SEED National Art Honor Society

Courageous Conversations Art Club & Graphic Design Club

Department Initiatives Girls' Track and Field Coach


Wellness Committee

Literacy Committee

References available upon request.

Art & Design Experience

AMY ZWIKEL STUDIO | Founder | 2015 to Present

  • Designing and maintaining website with effective SEO, branding, shop and portfolio.

  • Digitally photographing and editing all artwork for social media and web page.

  • Succeeding within various prestigious art shows throughout Chicago.

  • Earning and implementing wholesale accounts throughout the country.

  • Creating commissions and innovative fiber and painting artwork for worldwide brands.

  • Developing and teaching various workshops for private and corporate clients.

  • Collaborating with vendors for beautiful, unique event design installations.

  • View my personal artwork here.

HANDELAN-PEDERSEN | Graphic Designer | 2010-2011

  • Worked alongside designers to create high resolution digital illustrations for clients.

LAUNCH CREATIVE MARKETING | Art Director | 2007-2010

  • Collaborated in teams to design marketing, branding and advertising campaigns.