Robert L. Thies

Education:   B.A. St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN Art/Education, May 1987

  Western Michigan University, Elementary Ed. Minor/Cert, 1989

  MED Saginaw Valley State University, Principalship Major, 2004


Teaching Certification:   Michigan Continuing Certificate

    Grades 7-8 All Subjects

    Grades K-12 LX

    K-5 All Sub (K-8 Self CC)



July 2018 - NAEA SummerVisionDC, directed by Dr. Renee Sandell and Dr. Carole Henry, Lead Interpreter

    This program taught the Form+Theme+Context (FTC)™ method to Explore Art, Architecture, and the Museum as a Work of Art! Enjoy daily Marking & Mapping™ Visual Journaling, Conversation, Research, Reflection, & Connections.

    The SummerVisionDC museum education program also featured education strategies from the National Gallery of Art, National Museum of African Art, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Freer Sackler Gallery, The Phillips Collection, National Building Museum, Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the National Portrait Gallery.

Feb. 2016 -Full Steam Ahead AIMS Workshop, Feb. 9th, 2016 at 8:30-9:40am  3D Printing and Design 

         Mike Toth      Cranbrook Institute of Science

         Rob Thies     Cranbrook Schools Middle School Art

    An introduction of the current technology in use for 3-D printing and design begin this seminar.  Real world examples of what students around the country are doing with their 3D design classes will be discussed along with what benefits your students will experience.  Science and art teachers can transform and revolutionize their atomic, molecular and furniture design curriculum.  An introduction to the world of computer-aided design through the online-program, Tinkercad will be presented.  Tips and tricks on how to incorporate students’ ideas from concept into reality will be shared.  Lessons will be given to introduce attendees to their own 3D design skills.

June 2015 -National NCGS Conference Presentation - 3-D Printing in Art and Science

  • Presented 3-D Printing/Teaching Strategies to teachers from girls schools all across the world with Ashlie Smith (8th grade Science), Andrea Lorey (6th grade Science), and Mike Toth (Cranbrook Institute of Science).

July 2015 - Connecting Collections Teacher Workshop, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC

  • Art Museum Strategies Workshop co-taught by Metropolitan, MoMA, and Guggenheim Museums.

September 2013 - present, Teacher, Cranbrook Schools, Bloomfield Hills, Mi. 48303-0801

2013-present Art Teacher, Cranbrook Kingswood Middle School for Girls

  • Art Classes, 6-8th grade
  • Yearbook Editor
  • After School Activities including:  Bocce Team, Fencing, and Bike Riding Club
  • Maintains Crannet Presence for GMS All School Activites with Photo Postings
  • Maintains for Art Room Business and Parent/Student Communications
  • Enters student work in Birmingham Community House Student Art Town
  • Enters student work in Regional Scholastic Art Competition
  • Maintains displays of Student Art throughout the school

September 1987- June 2013, Teacher, Grosse Pointe Public School System, 389 St. Cair Ave. Grosse Pointe, Michigan 48236

1987-88, 1989-90 Art Teacher, Trombly Elementary School

    Taught Art to levels K-5

    • Put on all-school Spring Art Show for the community
    • Offered special pottery club for students
    • Served as NCA Steering Committee Chair
      • Assisted in writing school mission statement
      • Attended NCA Conferences
      • Assisted in writing school improvement goals

1987-88, 1989-90 Art Teacher, Grosse Pointe South High School

    Taught Concepts and Materials & Drawing and Painting

    • Submitted student work to Scholastics Competition where students won regional and national recognition

    1991-99 Art Teacher, Parcells Middle School

    • Taught 6th grade Art, 7th grade Art, Art 2-D, Art 3-D, and Study Skills
    • 1998-99 Directed and taught Staff Development Workshops for Parcells Middle School Staff in computer technology to aid in the adoption of new district technology model:
      • GroupWise E-mail
      • MS Office 97 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
      • Internet/Search Engine Usage
      • Web Page Creation
    • 1998-99 School Web Master
      • Designed and authored the Parcells Middle School Web page which contained over 65 pages of information relative to the educational program at Parcells Middle School.
        • Surveyed staff prior to the development of the pages.
        • Navigation included Team and Department Links reflecting the Middle School Philosophy
        • Developed a process for Academic Teams to post weekly homework calendars (sixth grade teams)

    1997-99 Chairperson Parcells Middle School North Central Accreditation Steering Committee

      • Effectively directed school improvement in the areas of Technology, Writing, and Behavior.
      • Designed Staff Development Half Day workshops for school improvement including technology and software evaluation, accreditation teams, and general accreditation work.
      • Participated, supported, and supervised three NCA Target Goal Committees including Writing, Behavior, and Technology.
      • Specifically designed the Parcells Middle School Technology Intervention Plan
        • Targeted 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students with pre- and post- intervention strategies/testing in word processing, spreadsheet, and multi-media presentations respectively.

    1999-2013 Art Teacher, Grosse Point North High School

    Classes Taught (outlines for currently taught classes including curriculum maps can be found under the “classes” link at

    • AP Art History (small groups only)
    • AP Studio Art Drawing
    • AP Studio Art 2-D Graphic Design
    • Ceramics (stoneware pottery, wheel, and hand building)
    • Computer Graphics I-IV  (Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Bryce 3D, and Blender)
    • Concepts and Materials
    • Drawing and Painting I-IV
    • Sculpture

    Leadership outside of the classroom:

    Create and maintain as a teaching tool to aid in the administration of many different classes.  Assignments, deadlines, art event information, and student artwork from past years are all posted on this web site.

    • Started/sponsored student art club Art Team (has been de-funded)
    • Art Honor Society Sponsor until I became Art Dept. Chair
    • Art Dept. Co-Chair for High School and Middle School Art Program
    • 2000 Taught GPPSS Staff Development Workshop in Animation
    • 2002 High School NCA Technology Steering Committee Member
    • 2003 Attended Teacher Institute of Contemporary Art, School of the Art Institute of Chicago (one week program -met with many artists from around the country – stayed on  campus and worked in oil paint)
    • 2003 Artist in Residence, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, (was given a studio and an apartment to work in – displayed paintings and steel table in the MCAD gallery at the close of the program – best summer ever!)
    • 2006 High School Day Study Committee Member
    • 2009 Completed AP Summer Institute at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
    • 2009 Created a channel on YouTube to post demonstration videos for students to use/see. 
    • 2009-2010 Initiated and processed the AP Art Curriculum enabling it’s adoption/piloting prior to the curriculum re-write approval. 
    • 2010-present, Liaison to the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House Museum where I work with Chris Shires, Museum Director of Education to create opportunities for Grosse Pointe students to interact with the museum.  In 2012, many Grosse Pointe Art students were featured in a special display in conjunction with the Grimm Fairy Tale Festival on the museum grounds.  This year, we are coordinating an art display by Grosse Pointe North students for the Alice In Wonderland Festival.
    • 2011 Art Dept. Co-Chair during re-write of Secondary Art Curriculum adopted by the Grosse Pointe BOE
    • 2011-13 Through the Parent Relations PLC I helped purchase a flat screen television for the North High School front office.  On this TV, with pictures from teachers, parents, students and myself, I put together a slide show about North for people to see when they enter the school.  Our committee thought that the first thing someone sees should be very positive and put North in the best light.  The slide show has been up-dated semi regularly and shows photos from this year and last year. 
    • 2012-13  North Public Relations DVD Project:  Video taped the North Principal (Kate Murray) and the Principals from North’s two feeder schools (Dr. Dib and Dr. Armstrong) talking about North.  The administrators all worked off of North’s positive “talking points” stressing North’s placement in the Top 3% of schools in the nation, etc. 
    • 2012 High School Day Study Committee Member

2006-2012 Teacher Leader for People to People Student Ambassador Programs


  • I have led student ambassadors from Wayne and Oakland Counties on programs around the world.  Program includes/requires:
    • Large venue presentations to prospective families
    • Acceptance Interviews with those students prior to  acceptance
    • 12 hours pre-travel meetings with students and families
    • Pre-travel learning projects/quizes and journal assignments during travel.
    • 19 days of travel abroad with 40 or less high school students (1 teacher to 10 student ratio)
    • Programs always include meetings with government officials and local families.  Students partake in local cuisine, historical sites, and character building exercises (i.e. rappelling down the occasional castle wall!).  I have led programs to Australia, England, France, Austria, Monaco, Amsterdam, Belgium, Italy/Sicily, Greece (and Crete).

1998-2001  Interversal Inc. (home business) 

      • Solicited business with direct mail, web page, and yellow pages (yes, yellow pages were still used back then)
      • Sales, Billing, Web Design, Webmaster, Technical Support
      • Created and maintained web pages for 6 Detroit area organizations including Michigan Brush Company, Wayne County KidSpace, and the L.W. Kennedy Company (Kmart fixture manufacturer – went out of business shortly after Kmart went through re-organization)
  • Spotted Dog Pottery (home business)
    • Learned about business processes (DBA, S-corp registration, billing, taxes, etc.)
    • Mixed and developed my own glazes
    • Made a pottery studio out of my garage – kiln, wheel, etc.
    • Sold pottery at local art shows (Detroit, Grosse Pointe, and Saugatuck) and through my first web page:
    • Accepted and processed credit cards (Visa and Mastercard)
    • Made dishes to order and kept items in stock for many people in the Detroit Metro area
  • Claybanks Pottery, 7060 South Scenic Dr., New Era, Mi. 49446
    • Worked as a studio potter
    • Created functional stoneware pottery (stock and special orders)
    • To date, I still help out by creating and maintaining the Claybanks Pottery web site: and I help with customer management by maintaining a Constant Contact account for the shop for sending out email notices about art shows, shop events, etc. 

1986 Kodaikanal International School, Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, India 642-101

    • Taught Art 7-12 in a multi-national environment
    • Participated in all aspects of boarding school life including chaperoning student hiking/camping excursions, being nice to cows, and avoiding monkeys.
    • Traveled throughout India by train and video bus when school was in recess.


My hobbies include travel, art, and photography (digital and film).  To this end, I collect and use old and new cameras, am always planning a trip, and occasionally make a painting.











Mr. Thies uses this web site to organize information for Art.  Student specific information will be occasionally showcased on Mr. Thies’ CranNet pages.

 You may e-mail Mr. Thies at