The award, which includes a $10,000 prize, was presented on Saturday, March 25, at the NSBA’s Annual Conference, held in Denver, Colorado. Dr. Gregory D. Little, superintendent, and Board Vice Chair Cynthia S. Smith accepted the award on behalf of the district.
Since 1989, this prestigious national award has recognized individual school boards for their outstanding support of arts education, and Lexington District One was chosen from nominees around the country for its support of high-quality arts education.
The district infuses the arts in everything from its mission statement, “The mission of Lexington County School District One — where caring people, academics, the arts, and athletics connect — is to prepare 21st century graduates while serving as the center for community learning,” to a vast selection of arts-related courses and activities.
“Through our work in schools across the country we see that arts learning is a crucial component of every child’s educational journey with proven results in increased student engagement and academic success,” said Mario R. Rossero, Senior Vice President of Education at the Kennedy Center. “We are pleased to recognize the Lexington County School District One Board of Trustees for its commitment to providing a quality arts education for all students.”
The Lexington County School District One Board of Trustees shows a strong commitment to the endurance of the arts by allocating a significant percentage of the district budget to the arts, as well as moving the part-time Fine Arts Coordinator position to a full-time position. The district has also assembled a District Leadership STEAM team; launched a Center for Media Arts, Design, and Production; expanded arts opportunities with summer music, theater, and dance camps at no cost to participating students; and lengthened instructional time of brand and strings programs.
The Board cultivates strong partnerships within its community and at the state level that continue to help enrich its own arts programming. The Columbia Museum of Art, for example, provides free professional development for the district’s teachers and facilitates field trips for students. Lexington Medical Center exhibits student art in its Art of Healing exhibit. The Town of Lexington consistently partners with the district to provide opportunities to showcase the artistic talents of students.