March 31, 2008
School District Wins National Fine Arts Award
$10,000 Award Presented to District
at Orlando Conference Today
City School District was named the winner of the national award
presented by the Kennedy Center Education Network (KCAAEN) and
National School Board Association (NSBA) on Monday, March 31,
annual award and $10,000 prize was presented to Schenectady
Board President Jeff Janiszewski and Board Member Lisa Russo
before more than 9,000 attendees at the National School Boards
Association annual conference in Orlando Florida. Schenectady,
selected by a national review panel, was singled out for
outstanding support of high-quality arts education. Fine Arts
Coordinator Nancy Lussier and John Sayles School of Fine Arts
House Principal Peg Normandin also attended the award ceremony
The KCAAEN and
NSBA award is presented to one school district in the country
each year. Since 1989, the prestigious award has recognized 39
school boards in 24 states for support of arts education.
Winning districts demonstrate support for all four artistic
disciplines in their arts education program including visual
arts, music, theater and dance with instructional programming
available for all students in the district.
Both Janiszewski and Russo expressed how proud they both are to
be on the Schenectady Board of Education. Janiszewski, who
was involved in the music and theatre program at Linton High
School and Central Park Junior High School over 30 years ago
reflected, "I think about the long standing tradition of first
rate fine arts programming in our schools." He
added, "I recognize that there were members of the Schenectady
School board then and ever since then who sustained our support
for fine arts education."
School of Fine Arts is one of few schools statewide to
offer dance programs including jazz, tap, ballet and
"I realize we
would not be receiving this award today if it were not for
decades of school board members, administrators, teachers and
citizens of Schenectady who continually recognized the
importance of the arts and sustained their commitment to it,"
"To be recognized at this level is an extraordinary honor that
encompasses a lifetime of devotion by Schenectady to the arts.
It's wonderful to be part of it all," said Russo. "The
biggest thanks should go to the teachers who are there everyday
working with the students, guiding them, supporting them and
City School District earned a nomination for the national award
after winning the state award from the New York State Alliance
for Arts and Education and the New York State School Board
Association in November.
their ongoing commitment, the Schenectady School Board continues
to keep the fine arts program thriving with extraordinary fine
arts opportunities and programs for students beginning in
pre-kindergarten which are carried on and enhanced each year
right through high school.
Normandin credited the staff, community and students. "I
couldn't be more proud to be part of this district," said
"An award at this
level is truly a great honor for our district," added Normandin.