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Kelley DeCleene

Adjunct Instructor

Hi everyone! I’m Kelley DeCleene, now from Golden, Colorado, where my family and I thoroughly enjoy mountain life. I grew up, went to school, and spent most of my teaching career in Wisconsin. Both my undergrad and doctoral degrees are from the University of Wisconsin. Go Badgers!

I have been an art teacher for over thirty years, teaching everything from kindergarten to college. Time really does fly when you’re having fun! I got an adaptive education certification with my bachelor’s degree, so I have always had a passion for working with students who learn differently. I believe strongly in the power of the arts in reaching diverse learners. While in Wisconsin, I developed and ran an art program at a school for 10-21-year-old students with moderate to profound disabilities and became a National Board-Certified Teacher. During this time, I also became a certified autism specialist. This experience inspired my doctoral work, looking at the intersection of art education, special education, and the learning sciences. I present and lead workshops on this topic nationally. I am involved with Special Needs in Art Education groups at both the state and national levels.

In addition to teaching at AOEU, I teach Understanding Autism, Visual Literacy, and Social Studies and Creative Arts Methods at Colorado Christian University here in Colorado. I also teach Inclusive Art Classrooms at Metropolitan State University in Denver. And, for the bulk of my work hours, I am the Arts and Education Director at Access Gallery Denver, a non-profit whose mission is to help young people with disabilities find purpose, community, and economic opportunity through the arts.

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