Arts Program Earns National Recognition

Arts Program Earns National Recognition
Mark Hoover, April Ferry, and Paul Shapiro pictured with Ralph Opacic (left), President of the Arts Schools Network, Jackie Cornelius (second from left), Vice President and Executive Director of Fine Arts for Jacksonville, Florida, and Dr. Denise David Cotton (right), founding Director (retired) of the Detroit School for the Arts.

January 14, 2011 – On January 13, Seattle Academy’s Arts Program received the award for being the nation’s outstanding arts program.  The award is presented to a member of the Arts Schools Network for having  “an outstanding record of overall excellence in the categories of faculty and student achievement, community recognition and involvement, arts and academics integration, curriculum innovations, continuing growth and development, and state and national recognition.”

Joe Puggelli, Head of School at Seattle Academy, noted that “we’re delighted but not surprised by this recognition. The work that our students have done is superb, and our students deserve the recognition they’re receiving for their twin commitments to the pursuit of excellence as well as to their willingness to try new things and fail. Bravo to the students, and bravo to the arts faculty who make it all possible. “

This award completes what has been an avalanche of recognition for Seattle Academy’s Arts Program in recent months. Last Spring, the Onions (Seattle Academy’s acclaimed jazz vocal ensemble) earned several awards at the Reno Jazz Festival; this fall, the theater program was recognized by Stage Directions Magazine for what they characterized as an “awe-inspiring” theater program; and Director Michael Cimino was nominated for the Ruben Van Kempen Theatre Educator Award. The Seattle Academy Improv Team advanced to the finals of the Seattle Improv Championships, and three Seattle Academy senior playwrights had their works selected for professional production by the Young Playwrights Program through the ACT Theatre. The Seattle Academy Visual Arts program (including film and media arts) has continued to attract the attention of national and international competitions and to place Seattle Academy graduates in some of the school’s most prestigious college and university Arts programs in the nation.

Paul Shapiro, Arts Department Head, notes that, “Most schools pick an area of the arts and focus on producing opportunity and excellence within a very defined area. Our program is unusual not only in the breadth of excellence in the Arts Program but also in the breadth of excellence in the overall program. Because of Seattle Academy’s commitment to the Culture of Performance, the school regularly produces State Championship athletic teams as well as award winning productions and academic superstars as well as great artists.”

College Advisor Melanie Reed observes that, “this award speaks to why Seattle Academy graduates are so highly sought by the nation’s best universities. A fairly common profile for a Seattle Academy senior is someone who is on an engineering track for college but who has also played on a state championship soccer team, has produced an award-winning film, and has been in the cast of multiple productions.”

The Arts School Network, which is comprised of 1,486 arts schools, programs, and organizations dedicated to education in and through the arts, presented the award to Seattle Academy at the Network’s annual conference, held this year in Anaheim, California.  The award was accepted on behalf of Seattle Academy by Paul Shapiro along with Visual Arts teacher April Ferry and Vocal Music teacher/ director Mark Hoover.