Northwood Arts to get Kennedy Center award
For the second time, Northwood High School Arts Education department has received the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts School of Excellence Award.
Northwood was one of five schools in North Carolina to receive the honor for Outstanding Achievement in Arts Education. In order to be nominated, schools had to offer five artistic disciplines, create two video montages and complete a packet of information. The awards committee was comprised of representatives from Arts North Carolina — a member of the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network, the N.C. Arts Council and the N.C. Department of Public Instruction.
According to the award letter from Karen Wells, executive director of Arts North Carolina, “The Committee selecting the Schools of Excellence cited numerous examples of Northwood High School’s commitment to arts education. Northwood excels among all North Carolina Schools in its discipline based arts curriculum and prolific course offerings. The support of the Chatham County Schools Board in facility renovations and the pride indicated in your principal’s letter demonstrates a broad base of support from administration. Northwood is unique in its Foundation support and subsequent scholarship awards, which also serves to exemplify the remarkable parental involvement your program has achieved.”
Other schools earning this designation include R.J. Reynolds High School and Diggs-Latham Magnet Elementary School in Winston-Salem, Benton Heights Elementary School of the Arts in Monroe, and Artspace Charter School in Swannanoa.
Northwood previously received this award in 2002. Dr. Lori Major Carlin, Arts Coordinator for Chatham County Schools and former theatre teacher, and Gina Harrison, president of the Northwood Arts Education Foundation, nominated the school. Leslie Burwell, department chair, and several students helped create the nomination videos. Department members include: Instrumental Music – Eugene Cottrell; Vocal Music – Matthew Hanson; Dance – Leah Smith and Kristen Norwood; Theatre Arts – Kayla Gahagen; Visual Arts – Leslie Burwell. Teachers and students will be recognized at the Dec. 2 Board of Education meeting.