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Visual Arts

The Winnetka Public Schools uses the Understanding by Design approach to curriculum development and documentation. This framework is used to design learning experiences and assessment with the end in mind: student outcomes.   The identified student outcomes are categorized into three types: Know, Understand and Do (KUD). Transfer goals and essential questions are also part of the Understanding by Design framework as well. Transfer goals consider how and when students will use the skills, knowledge and understandings learned in particular units to other learning and life experiences.  Whereas essential questions are thought-provoking questions that will foster inquiry, meaning-making, and transfer.

To view the transfer goals, essential questions, as well as “KUDs” for this content area, please click the link below.  To view the “KUDs” by grade level, please visit the grade level “Curriculum Summaries” in the left-hand menu.


In the Winnetka Public Schools, the Visual Arts are an essential component of our progressive, child-centered approach. The artistic process honors the whole child, encourages creativity, and is a pathway to social-emotional well-being, academic achievement, and civic engagement.


Creativity and innovative thinking are essential life skills that can be developed.

D36 Visual Art students will become creative problem solvers through taking risks, embracing experimentation, learning from mistakes, and demonstrating perseverance.

They will develop an appreciation for inclusivity, cultural awareness, self-awareness and an understanding and appreciation of a variety of perspectives, feelings, experiences, and cultures. They will become effective collaborators through the practice and refinement of their visual, verbal, symbolic, and interpersonal communications skills. D36 Visual Arts students will become innovators who will develop a lifelong passion for learning through the exploration and development of their unique creative expression, learning styles, preferences, and interests.

Meet the Teachers

Lillian Johnson- Crow Island School

Mrs. Johnston is the art teacher at Crow Island School.  She believes that “art is what makes the world go ‘round.  Art is everywhere.  It connects all of us.  When students get their hands dirty through making art, it creates a feeling of purpose and belonging.”  Mrs. Johnston has adored her time as the art teacher at Crow Island School in Winnetka since 1998.  She loves Winnetka and all things “crow.”  After seeing the “Chicago Cow Parade of 1999”, Mrs. Johnston was inspired to create the long-standing tradition of the “Crows on Parade '' in 2001. 

Mrs. Johnston has been working in education for over twenty-five years. She has taught in both public and private schools, elementary level, as well as high school. She has also served on the fine arts faculty at both DePaul University and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Lillian holds a Masters in Fine Arts degree from the Maryland Institute College of Art, a Professional Certificate of Art Education from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a BA from DePaul University.  Mrs. Johnston is the proud mother of three daughters and a dog.  She and her husband are both working artists who enjoy serving their community as Girl Scout leaders, classroom parents, serving on the PTA board, and by volunteering at the local food pantry.  Mrs. Johnston also enjoys serving the Winnetka community by volunteering as a docent for the Winnetka Historical Society, and teaching summer art classes at the North Shore Art League.

Laura Montgomery- Greeley School

Ms. Montgomery has been teaching art at Greeley School since 2009.  Prior to that she worked in a variety of museums throughout the United States.  As a practicing artist she encourages her students to experiment and explore the artmaking process as young artists.  She often asks her students to observe the beauty of a winter sunrise, look for the first snowdrops in spring, or pay attention to the veins of an autumn leaf.  It is in these small wonders children look more deeply at the world before them, and make a response through art. 

Ms. Montgomery received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and her BFA from Indiana University.  She has also studied at the Rhode Island School of Design Extension, The San Francisco Tapestry Workshop, Haystack School of Crafts, and Harvard University Extension.     

Jude Bamshad- Hubbards Woods School

Jude, otherwise known as Ms. Bammy, has been teaching elementary and middle school visual art since 2003. She received an MFA from the Royal College of Art in London, and a MAT in Elementary Education from National Louis University in Chicago. Ms. Bammy is also a proud Longhorn as she obtained her BFA from the University of Texas at Austin. In August of 2017, she joined the Winnetka Public Schools as the art teacher at Hubbard Woods School. As a practicing artist, she encourages her students to learn about art and the art world by assuming the role of artist as they direct their own learning. In this model, students practice coming up with art problems to solve, asking questions, and seeing possibilities in the world around them. Students learn to persevere through difficulties as well as to trust themselves and their own judgment while simultaneously becoming self-directed and organized.

Michael Greenman- Skokie

MATC (K-12 Special Education/Visual Arts), BFA (Painting/Ceramics)

Mr. Greenman has been teaching Visual Arts at The Skokie School since 2016. Prior to that, his tenure included 14 years at a therapeutic high school, where he was an Art Teacher, Case Manager, Intervention Specialist, and even briefly a Math Teacher!

Mr. Greenman encourages students to:

Think outside of the box. Ignore labels and subsequent expectations from others. Be yourself. Remember that art is made by the mind, not the hands. We are ALL artists!

Learn more about Mr. Greenman at

Amy Gabbert- Washburne

Ms. Gabbert teaches Studio Art 7, Studio Art 8, Sculpture, Art & Design, and the Yearbook class at Carleton Washburne. She has her MFA in Theater Design from Northwestern University and BFA and Professional Teaching Certificate from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She first joined the Winnetka Public Schools in 2001 as the Art teacher at Greeley and returned to teaching art at Washburne in 2010. She brings both her design and fine art experience into all the classes she teaches: helping students develop process and intention in their work. Outside of teaching, she is a practicing multimedia artist working primarily in fiber (weaving) and clay.