SDUSD Staff Receive County Arts Ovation Awards

Posted: Wednesday, April 8th 2020

This spring, Arts Empower San Diego, a collective impact initiative of the San Diego County Office of Education VAPA Department, launched their Ovation Awards. These awards recognize students, parents, teachers, school leaders, and arts education organizations working to ensure every student in San Diego County is engaged in a personally relevant, equitable, standards-based arts education.

The county was divided up by County Board of Supervisor regions, and each year a different set of regions will be opened for award nominations. The award ceremony for Region 5 (which includes far north areas of the county including Carlsbad, Fallbrook, Oceanside, San Marcos, and Vista) was held on February 27. Region 4, which includes San Diego Unified, was scheduled to present their awards on March 25, and Region 1 (which includes southern areas of the county such as Chula Vista, Coronado, National City, and San Ysidro) was scheduled for April 22.

Fourteen of the Ovation Award recipients in Region 4 come from San Diego Unified, ranging from teachers and students to administrators and a member of the Board of Education.

Creative Transformation Ovation Award

  • Dyllan Cortez, student, East Village Middle College High School

Creative Leader Ovation Award

  • Judy Visque, special education technician, Muirlands Middle School
  • Cindy Marten, Superintendent, SDUSD

Artful Visionary Ovation Award

  • Russ Sperling, VAPA Director, SDUSD

Artful Advocate Ovation Award

  • Sharon Whitehurst-Payne, trustee, SDUSD Board of Education

Enduring Artful Learner Ovation Award

  • Garner Saguil, teacher, Dingeman Elementary School
  • Marjorie Treger, resource teacher, San Diego Unified School District

Creative Connector Ovation Award

  • Mick Rabin, resource teacher, San Diego Unified School District
  • Laura Williams, resource teacher, San Diego Unified School District

In addition, four community arts organizations were also selected for awards and recognized for their work within San Diego Unified:

  • Kathleen Kane-Murrell, Fine Artists (Creative Leader Ovation Award)
  • Justin Flores, San Diego Civic Youth Ballet (Creative Leader Ovation Award)
  • Ann Marie Haney, Community Council for Music in the Schools (Artful Advocate Ovation Award)
  • Jess Baron, Guitars in the Classroom (Enduring Artful Learner Ovation Award)

Although Region 4’s awards ceremony itself has been canceled, awardees were sent a PDF of the program as a keepsake, in addition to their actual Ovation Award. Arts Empower San Diego hopes to find opportunities to recognize the award winners in the upcoming year.

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