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Teacher combines love of art and her faith

Sue Ellis is a passionate teacher.

Ellis loves to share her passion for God, life and art with the students, staff and parents at United Faith Christian Academy in south Charlotte, where she is an upper and lower school art teacher.

Ellis, 61, moved with her family to Charlotte from New Orleans in 1997 and now lives in Union County with her husband.

Ellis is a whirlwind of energy and enthusiasm and says she can't stress enough the importance of her belief in God and the force of her belief in her life.

Her faith affects her teaching style and her relationship with her students, she says, as well as everyone she meets. "I am very blessed to be the earthen vessel (God) chose to be a channel here on earth," said Ellis.

Ellis said she wants her students to see art as "a place of success." She said she's driven to find ways she can develop her students' creativity and love for art.

Ellis teaches or guides students' art projects in a large and colorful art room at UFCA. She regularly teaches students a new technique or element of design, always linking the art back to the strong presence of God.

Her students are encouraged to create from the heart as they apply the basic elements of design.

Ellis, a dedicated teacher, often puts in extra time at the school. She regularly pushes her own expectations, always looking for something more to do.

Her passion for her work is evident; art is present throughout the school. Ellis features a student's work every month in a display in the school's lobby windows. She also hangs exhibits throughout the building.

Colorful and engaging posters hang on a wall, and visitors walking down a hallway are greeted by another blast of color in a creation by another art student.

Just as Ellis reaches out to her students, she said, she teaches students to reach out to others with their art.

Once a year, Ellis has an art show at South County Regional Library on Rea Road. In May, students will exhibit their art at Mint Hill Arts in Mint Hill.

Matthew's ArtFest recently displayed a piece by student David Megenus.

"Mrs. Ellis always starts off the class by praying ... (She) inspires us to connect our spiritual lives with our artwork," Megenus said.

"She is one of my coolest teachers, and I look forward to my art class to express myself through art."

Gail Megenus, David's mother, said she appreciates all Ellis does through her "faith, encouragement, empowerment and caring."

The public will have an opportunity to experience the students' art at the Fall Festival of Fine Arts on Nov. 18-19 at the school.

Collaboration with the drama, art and culinary departments will be seen in the art displays, food, set designs and costumes in the play "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever."

Ellis is an exemplary example of a woman who lives her life through God, actively and passionately looking for ways to share her students' reflective art with others.

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