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Media Advisory: Hundreds of Students Recognized at San Diego Unified’s Annual Art Exhibit and Performing Arts Award Ceremony

Media Advisory: Hundreds of Students Recognized at San Diego Unified’s Annual Art Exhibit and Performing Arts Award Ceremony
Posted on 03/12/2019

VAPA Spotlight Awards

San Diego Unified celebrates Arts Education month with art showcase and awards ceremony honoring students who create, innovate, and inspire others to make the world a better place through the arts

WHAT: The San Diego Unified School District invites the community to experience its annual Student Art Exhibit. Over the next three weeks, San Diego Unified will present a diverse array of 640 artwork pieces by students in grades TK-12. Students from 12 high schools, 10 middle schools, 1 K-8 school, and 26 elementary schools from throughout the district will showcase their work. Additionally, students and teachers from across the San Diego Unified District will be honored at the VAPA Spotlight Awards for their artistic contributions to teaching and learning at an Academy Award-style ceremony.

The public is invited to the awards presentation and to a student art exhibit beforehand. The halls of the Education Center's second floor will be transformed into an art gallery, where parents, students and the public can enjoy the artistic talent of San Diego Unified students. A reception with student musicians will open the art showcase that features student art work from across the district, from all grade levels.

The Spotlight Awards celebrate successes in the visual and performing arts across the district and in all disciplines. In addition to the awards, the VAPA Foundation will present four $250 scholarships to the student award recipients.

Superintendent Cindy Marten is proud of the district's continued commitment to provide a well-rounded education that includes visual and graphic arts curriculum. Said Marten:

"It is only with curiosity and creativity that we can make change in this world, so many of the world's greatest discoveries came from creative thinking and experimental accidents. As educators it is our responsibility to educate the whole child, and nurture our students' artistic skills in order to unlock their genius. Encouraging their success within the arts is just as important as reading and writing. We must learn to follow our creative instincts, experiment, try, fail, try again, be curious and go out and explore the world. That is how we create amazing things, see the infinite possibilities, change this world for the better and create a better San Diego.”

WHEN: Wednesday, March 13. Student Art Exhibit: 4:30 - 6:30 p.m.; Spotlight Awards Presentation: 6:30 p.m. The Student Art Exhibit will run through April 12. Student and teacher Spotlight Awardees will be available for interviews at 6 p.m.

WHERE: Eugene Brucker Education Center, 4100 Normal Street, San Diego, CA 92103. Student Art Exhibit: Second Floor; Spotlight Awards: Board Room, First Floor.

BACKGROUND: The VAPA Spotlight Awards highlight outcomes that are aligned with the goals of VAPA's strategic plan, adopted by SDUSD's Board of Education in 2016. Awardees were nominated by the district's VAPA stakeholder community including teachers, parents, community arts partners, administrators, and students. The winners were selected by a committee that included a teacher and representative from the district's VAPA Advisory Council, a representative from the VAPA Department, and a representative from the VAPA Foundation. The VAPA Foundation student award recipients are: Kelly Hatfield, Katherine Perrine, Noah Sanchez, and David Robinson.

This year's VAPA Spotlight Award winners are:

  • Artistic Achievement Award

    • Kelly Hatfield, Student, Serra High School*
    • Katherine Perrine, Student, La Jolla High School*
  • Artistic Growth Award

    • Erin Cortes, Teacher, Taft Middle School
    • Dr. John Reynolds, Teacher, San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts
  • Artistic Innovation Award

    • Carmen and Kevin Kasner, Parents, Mira Mesa High School
    • Bill McClain, Teacher, Carver Elementary School
    • Reyna Turner, Teacher, Loma Portal Elementary School
  • Creative Community Engagement Award

    • Catalina Valenzuela, Classified Staff, Crown Point Junior Music Academy
    • Daniel Kriley, Teacher, Mira Mesa High School
    • Jeanne Christensen, Teacher, Mira Mesa High School
    • Matthew Mulvaney, Teacher, Mira Mesa High School
  • Creative Leadership Award

    • Derek Murchison, Principal, Zamorano Fine Arts Academy
    • Aaron Blokker, Teacher, Serra High School
  • Rising Star Award

    • Noah Sanchez, Student, San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts*
    • John Riley, Teacher, Crawford High School
    • David Robinson, Student, Crawford High School*

*Students who will be receiving $250 scholarships

The not-for-profit VAPA Foundation works to enhance the quality of and access to arts education in the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD). The VAPA Advisory Council advises the VAPA Director and VAPA staff on implementation of the SDUSD Strategic Arts Education Plan, and helps inform and educate district VAPA teachers and community on implementation of the plan.

“We know that the arts are an essential part of unlocking the genius in all of our students, and I am grateful for our community's support of the VAPA Foundation that helps art and music thrive in our schools,” remarks Cindy Marten, Superintendent of Schools.

For more information on both of these VAPA support organizations, please see the accompanying News Release.

SITE CONTACTS: Russ Sperling, rsperling@sandi.net; Tim Benson, tbenson@sandi.net 858-256-2700

MEDIA CONTACT: Maureen Magee, 619-381-7930

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