The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) will wrap up “Arizona Youth Arts Month” this weekend, bringing to a close a month of celebrating excellence in arts education inside and outside of schools throughout Arizona. March, which is also known as “Dance in Our Schools Month,” “Music in our Schools Month,” “Theatre in Our Schools Month” and “Youth Arts Month,” is when arts educators throughout the state are recognized for their outstanding contributions to their respective communities.
“Arts programs are an essential part of a well-rounded education system,” Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman said. “I want to thank all of the wonderful artists – both teachers and students – for enriching our state by sharing their talents.”
ADE extends a warm congratulations to this year’s Arts Teachers of the Year:
Arizona Art Education Association Teachers of the Year
Cathy Saraniero, Cocopah Middle School, Scottsdale Unified School District
Michelle Peacock, Saguaro High School, Scottsdale Unified School District
Arizona Music Educators Association Teachers of The Year
Eric Zimmerman, Band, Orchestra & Guitar Teacher, Moon Valley High School
Jennifer Randle, Orchestra Specialist, Mesa Public Schools
Anneka Kotterman, Music Teacher, Whipple Ranch Elementary
John Snyder, Secondary Choral Festival Coordinator, Mesa Public Schools
Arizona Dance Education Organization “Katherine Lindholm Lane Dance Educator of the Year”
Tiffany White, Mesquite High School, Gilbert Public Schools
Arizona Thespians Teachers of the Year
Corey Quinn, Central Region, Mountain Pointe High School
Laura Colletti, North Region, Centennial High School
Jessica Armistead, South Region, Cienega High School
Flagstaff Arts Council 2019 Viola Award Winner for Excellence in Arts Education
Kathy Marron, Thomas Elementary School, Flagstaff Unified School District
In addition, many schools and arts organizations around the state promoted high-quality arts programs and stories of excellence. JO Combs High School opened their new Performing Arts Center, Nogales Unified School District debuted murals in partnership with the Ben’s Bells organization to encourage kindness and the UBU Project promoted peer-led substance abuse prevention through the arts at Cactus Shadows High School.
In addition, the Rising Youth Theatre has utilized theater to stimulate healthy emotional development at Create Academy, while representatives from ADE were invited to join parents and families at arts celebrations in the Agua Fria and Alhambra School Districts. The ADE Office of Arts Education is also thrilled to announce that the arts are the first non-federally mandated discipline to link arts education student enrollment and access data on the Arizona State School Report Cards for greater transparency and accountability.
March also marked the announcement of winners of the Southwest Airlines and the Phoenix Suns “Heart of Freedom Art and Essay Contest,” Arizona Department of the Administration “Cybersecurity Calendar Contest” and ADE’s 4th Grade Collaborative Visual Arts Competition “WeAreAz” statewide arts competitions.
If you’d like to know more information about the Office of Arts Education and our programs, please visit our website: http://www.azed.gov/artseducation/. You can sign up for our blog and explore arts education resources.