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photoShani Perez is an Arts Liaison & Art Educator for the New York City Department of Education. Currently, Shani steers the Visual Arts program at Elias Howe Public School 51 where she has developed the elementary visual arts curriculum for the last 9 years. She holds a degree in Fashion Design acquired from the Fashion Institute of Technology, a Bachelors of Science in Art Education, and a Masters of Science in Special Education acquired from The State University of New York at New Paltz (SUNY). As a proud alumna of Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, Shani developed a deep love and passion for sharing visual arts with others at an early age.

In addition to Art Education at PS51, Shani is the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) Chapter Leader in her school, serves on several educational and community based arts planning teams developing arts curricula citywide, and is a member of National Art Education Association (NAEA). She currently provides Professional Development workshops to NYC Art Educators, serves on the Manhattan Borough Arts Festival team (MBAF), and serves as the Chair of the NAACP Brooklyn Branch Education Committee. Aside from the Arts, Shani is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated where she founded “Family Day” a day of education & arts practices.

Shani was selected as a Big Apple Fellow to represent teachers citywide by serving as 1 of 12 advisers to the Chancellor for the 2015-2016 school year. Shortly thereafter Chancellor Fariña appointed her to the Arts Education Committee of the Department of Education. She was recently recognized as the Elementary Art Educator of the year by New York City Art Teachers Association (NYCATA) & also received the Inspiration in Education Award by The Center for Arts Education for her efforts to help children empower themselves through education and the arts.

She lives to teach art to children of various ages and truly believes in the importance of education in our society. Her other teaching proficiencies include visual arts education, visual literacy, teaching art for the multiple intelligences, arts integration, studio practices, facilitating arts for family workshops, and professional development of teachers.