The South Carolina Art Education Association (SCAEA) Thomas A. Hatfield Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to an active member of SCAEA that demonstrates life-long commitment to the teaching and advocating of art education.
The 2022 recipient of the SCAEA Thomas A. Hatfield Lifetime Achievement Award is Mrs. Cindy Riddle.
Mrs. Riddle is the Assistant Superintendent of Visual and Performing Arts for Spartanburg School District One. Mrs. Riddle’s leadership within Spartanburg One has resulted in the development of quality arts programs throughout the district. Mrs. Riddle has developed and refined a unique mentor support program to address the specific needs of visual art instructors within her district. From the funding of Arts In Basic Curriculum school sites, to Distinguished Arts Programming sites, she has been able to garner the support of schools, district administrators and the school board of trustees in support of quality arts education. Mrs. Riddle leverages her experience with reflective practice to improve student growth and empower educators. As SCAEA President-Elect and President, Cindy served on the NAEA Delegates Assembly in 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021. As SCAEA President (2020-2022) she successfully led the association through Covid and hosted the SCAEA State Conference virtually in 2020 and the SCAEA State Conference in person in 2021. As a reflection of the core values of SCAEA under the National Art Education Association (NAEA), she created a new board position for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.
As the Past President of the South Carolina Art Education Association (SCAEA), Mrs. Riddle helps connect art educators across the state with professional development so that they can collaborate and inspire creativity for the classroom. Mrs. Riddle has also held leadership positions at the state and national level with the Palmetto State Arts Education Association, Ballet Spartanburg, South Carolina Consortium for Gifted Education, Tryon Fine Arts Center and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Partners in Education Advisory Council. Mrs. Riddle is described by Ms. Ava Hughes, the Education Director of the Chapman Cultural Center, as a “champion of the arts,” a leader, a community builder, and a positive force for the arts.” Mrs. Hughes says, “Cindy Riddle’s lifetime of work has, without a doubt, made a difference in the lives of thousands of children!”
Additionally, Mrs. Riddle has been an instrumental force with the STEAM initiative in SC, serving on the first state committee that wrote the STEAM Continuum in 2014. She has presented locally, statewide, and nationally on STEAM and is an adjunct professor at USC Upstate, teaching summer Muse Machine STEAM and Design Thinking Institutes. Over her 23 year career, she has received numerous teaching recognitions and professional awards for travel and study abroad. In 2015 Mrs. Riddle was named South Carolina Art Education Administrator of the Year, and in 2017 she received the Dr. Deborah Smith Hoffman Mentor Award. She was the 2020 recipient of the prestigious Governor’s Awards for the Arts, in Arts Education. The SC Arts Commission annually presents six Governor’s Awards, the highest honor the state gives in the arts, to recognize outstanding achievement and contributions to arts in South Carolina. In addition to being an active warrior for arts education, she is a practicing visual artist and owner of Chicken Coop Art Co.