BATON ROUGE, LA — On Thursday, Sept. 1, Forest Heights Academy of Excellence celebrated receiving the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network’s 2010-2011 John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts National Schools of Distinction in Arts Education Award. The award recognizes schools that have done an outstanding job of making the arts an essential part of the education of their students.
Louisiana Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne and East Baton Rouge Parish School System Superintendent John Dilworth recognized the school, Principal Myra Varmall and the Forest Heights arts faculty. In addition, Dr. Patrick Widhalm of the Louisiana Partnership for the Arts (LPA) and LPA President Christie Weeks joined the celebration. Accompanying the soon-to-be-delivered plaque will be a check for $2,000.
Those attending the event also took a tour of the school’s arts classrooms and facilities and presentations on its arts education programs. Drama teacher Elizabeth Foos led her dramatic arts class in expressing the emotion “excited” with the help of third-grade students.
Only four schools nationwide were selected for the 2010-2011 school year’s National Schools of Distinction in Arts Education Awards. Besides Forest Heights, the award-winning schools are: Mountain Pointe High School in Phoenix, Tacoma School of the Arts in Tacoma and the Power Academic and Performing Arts Complex in Jackson, Miss. The winners of the award were selected from the schools nominated by their State Alliance for Arts Education, including the Louisiana Partnership for the Arts. All the schools provide instruction in visual arts, music, dance and theater, and they integrate the arts into other subject areas.