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Waco ISD named a “District of Distinction” for the visual arts

Waco ISD is one of 20 districts statewide to be included on the Texas Art Education Association’s inaugural list.

The Texas Art Education Association has named Waco ISD as a “District of Distinction” for the visual arts. After a rigorous application process which evaluated instruction in the visual arts, extracurricular opportunities and community service, just 20 districts were selected for the association’s inaugural list. 

“Each day, our visual arts teachers are helping students discover new talents and express themselves in new ways,” Waco ISD Director of Fine Arts Larry Carpenter said. “More than that, they’ve partnered with community organizations, like Creative Waco, to help students take their talents into the community. I’m incredibly proud of each of the district’s 25 visual arts instructors. This recognition of their hard work and their dedication to our students is truly deserved.”

The recognition caps off an impressive 2018-2019 school year for Waco ISD’s visual arts program.

Last April, students from University High and Waco High competed in the Region 12 Visual Arts Scholastic Events and collectively won 48 gold medals for their work. In addition, two University High students and one Waco High student qualified to advance to the state competition.

In February, for the first time in the district’s history, students from 10 Waco ISD elementary schools competed in the Region 12 Texas Elementary Art Meet (TEAM) where they entered 41 pieces of art and received 30 gold medals. Unlike at the high school level, elementary students do not have the opportunity to advance to state. However, four Waco ISD elementary students received the designation “Top of TEAM,” which is the equivalent of advancing to a state competition.

“The visual arts unlock new ways for students to see themselves and the world around them,” Dr. Hazel Rowe, interim superintendent, said. “Through their creativity and work, our student artists can also change the way that the rest of us see the world. I knew that we had talented teachers and students, but it’s especially exciting to see them recognized as some of the very best in the state.”