In a nutshell, Ariel is an artist, a K-12 visual arts educator, and a lifelong entrepreneur.
Ariel attended Illinois State University, majoring in Art Teacher Education with a focus in ceramics and painting. She also had the opportunity to study abroad in Sydney, Australia to learn about and observe the New South Wales method for visual arts curriculum development. Ariel is currently an art teacher at the high school level where she primarily teaches ceramics and assists students in developing the annual yearbook as the sole yearbook advisor. In addition to teaching, she is spending much of her time on her own sculptural artwork.
One of her claims to fame is earning the title of Miss Illinois 2019 (+2020 due to Covid-19), and representing Illinois at the Miss America 2020 competition. Taking time away from teaching, she focused her year of service on her chosen social impact initiative, #IncludeTheArts - Advocating for Arts Education. Some of her accomplishments include being the spokesperson for the Association of Illinois Rural and Small Schools - increasing their social media engagement by more than 971K, partnering with Blick Art Materials to provide several $1,000 art supply grants to schools in need, as well as lobbying for Congressional Resolution 275 to be brought to the local level - which prompted several Illinois mayors to declare a community focused annual "Arts in Education Day". Ariel earned over $15,000 in scholarships by competing in the Miss America Organization, eliminating nearly all of her student loan debt.
Wrapping up with some interesting facts, Ariel grew up in a family of skydivers! She is quite the extreme sport enthusiast! She is currently a recreational skydiver working toward her next level licensure, and hopes to one day be an AFF/AFP instructor or demo jumper. She is also a rock climber and former rock climbing instructor, and she has been SCUBA certified since she was 12 years old.