This year for my personal art project I have decided to honor some very special people that give so much in our community. There are hundreds of charities both big and small in our communities looking for help in several categories, monetary donations, gift donations for the gala, marketing help, etc. Over the years we have noticed some familiar names in several charities throughout our communities. So as my personal art project this year we thought we would recognize these folks with an “environmental” oil painting. An environmental oil painting is an interpretive painting that helps tell something about the subject. The goal when viewing the portrait is to learn something about the subject, usually a favorite hobby/passion of theirs. With the help of the Monmouth Ocean Development Council, The Jersey Shore Chamber of Commerce and the Brick Chamber we were able to connect with several of these community leaders. After sitting down with them and getting to know them we were able to create these interpretive oil paintings. We plan on unveiling these art pieces with everyone honored along with their friends and families. No one will see the finalized paintings till the night of the event (I love surprises)
We will be highlighting everyone so you get to know each person along with some sneak peeks of their paintings as they come to fruition.
Nancy Weber-Loeffert is today s highlight. She is an avid gardener and we had a great time creating her reference images at her home in and around her garden. Below is a video from the actual session. Nancy has dedicated her life to special education whether working with handicapped preschoolers to working with high school kids to transitioning them from high school to the world of work. Even now as she has retired from teaching she has started an educational consulting company where she plans to work with local business partners to assist with customized training and to provide the much needed support for vocational education. Here are just some little details from her painting. Below is some more info about Nancy, also feel free to reach out to her if you think she can help you. (Nancy@NWLconsulting.net)
I grew up in a small upstate Western New York farming community. I developed a strong work ethic at a very young age. That work ethic was developed through the hard work and leadership of my parents. My father was a farmer and my mother worked in a factory. We had very little money but we did have a strong sense of family, love and hard work. I attended a community college in Poukeepsie, New York. After finishing my Associates degree I moved to Staten Island, New York.
I started my career in education as a teacher assistant at Willowbrook State School. ( You may remember the exposé that Geraldo Rivera conducted at the school for severely disabled individuals. ) That was quite an introduction to my career with Special Education. While I was employed there I finished my Bachelors degree at the College of Staten Island and moved from teacher assistant to an official teacher. I moved to Bricktown NJ in 1977 and obtained a job teaching preschool handicapped. After one year in the preschool program I switched positions to teach fifth grade at Stafford Township. I was not completely satisfied with my teaching position until I answered an ad in the paper for a teacher of students with disabilities at the Ocean County Vocational Technical School. The job was designed to transition students from high school to the world of work. I was excited to have this opportunity and knew the first day on the job that this was my calling. I started with OCVTS in 1979 and never looked back. I retired from OCVTS in 2018 as the Assistant Superintendent. I completed my Masters degree in Administration and Leadership at Jersey City University.
My career at the vocational school took me from that job placement person to the Vice-Principal of Special Needs to Principal of Student Services to Assistant Superintendent. I held the position of Assistant Superintendent for 14 years. I took a few years off to raise my children but always knew that I would stay with vocational education. The success of our county as well as our country depend on the skills that are taught to our youth in schools such as the Ocean County Vocational Technical School. I have recently formed NWL consulting, an Educational Consulting LLC. (Nancy@NWLconsulting.net) I plan to work with local business partners to assist with customized training and to provide the much needed support for vocational education.