‘A little creativity’

Published 10:14 am Monday, July 5, 2021

Emily Overstreet, or as her students call her, “Mrs. O,” has helped to bring creativity to children throughout the community and across the world.

Originally from Owings, Maryland, Overstreet fell in love with Farmville while attending Longwood University and has lived here ever since. Today, she works as an elementary art teacher at Cumberland County Public Schools (CuCPS). Overstreet earned the title of CuCPS Teacher of the Year in 2012 and again in 2020, was named the 2020 Division Teacher of the Year and also earned the 2021 SVRTC Technology Teacher Award.

As a child, Overstreet always had a passion for art. Today, she shares that passion with her students by fostering creativity in today’s youth.

Emily Overstreet

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Her goal as an educator? To be a positive role model, uplift, motivate and bring a smile to every child.

When schools suddenly closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Overstreet had to adjust her teaching methods quickly. In order to ensure students had a creative outlet even while away from the classroom, Overstreet decided to create a public online page “Mrs. O’s Art Studio,” to bring art to both her students and children worldwide. Launched April 1, 2020, the page offers tutorials, step-by-step art lessons and recorded teaching videos which even include her three young daughters.

“Now while at home, with one click of their mouse, my students were back in my classroom enjoying our art routine,” Overstreet said. “Not only did these activities give students a much-needed break from their core academics, but they also provided students with a creative outlet that they desperately needed. With my online art page, I have been able to reach art lovers across the country.”

In her free time, Overstreet enjoys photography and is the owner of Images by Emily. She also enjoys painting, gardening, family time and the outdoors.

She’s also a big believer that anyone can be a superhero.

“All it takes is a little creativity, a touch of sparkle, a big heart and the courage to try something new,” she said.

Readers can follow along through Mrs. O’s Art Studio at www.facebook.com/mrsoartstudio and www.youtube.com/c/MrsOsArtStudio.

To see the full A Salute to Community Heroes edition click here.