NISD lands national music honor

NISD lands national music honor
Posted on 04/03/2020
NISD lands national music honor

This award for Nacogdoches ISD strikes the right note at the right time.

NISD learned this month it was recognized as a winner of National Association of Music Merchants (or NAMM) Best Community for Music Education. Seven hundred fifty-four school districts around the nation received this distinction, including 87 recognized here in Texas.

“To my knowledge, this is the first time NISD has won this distinction,” said Paulette Tomlinson, the district’s Director of Fine Arts. “This is a wonderful piece of news that we needed to hear right now.”

Under normal conditions, a NAMM representative would make a public appearance to present the award to NISD, Tomlinson said, something that will take place at a later date due to ongoing concerns over COVID-19. 

“I am proud to work with a team of K-12 music teachers who are creative and willing to go above and beyond for their students,” Tomlinson said. “This award recognizes their massive efforts as well as the support of school and district administration for the arts.

“With this award coming at the beginning of a period of growth, I am thrilled to see what we are able to accomplish for the future of music education in Nacogdoches.”

The NAMM award recognizes NISD is leading the way with learning opportunities as outlined in the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, which includes music and the arts as important elements of a well-rounded education for all children.

“Back at the start of the school year, I said we wanted to establish a well-rounded fine arts program from kindergarten through high school,” said NISD Chief Academic Officer Dr. Daya Hill. “This award is a tremendous honor for the district and is an indication of everything we’re doing is rocketing in the right direction.”

While the NAMM award focuses on music, the district continues to emphasize all facets of the arts, including visual and performance, said Hill.

“Involvement in the arts has been shown to strengthen and enrich academic performance for students,” she said. “Our programs have improved at all levels across the district, and this is one measure of that progress.”

Now in its 21st year, the Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. To qualify for the Best Communities designation, NISD answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and community music-making programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

The award recognizes and celebrates the commitment of school administrators, community leaders, teachers and parents who believe in music education and are working to ensure that it is part of a well-rounded education for all children.

The award highlights music as a national education issue and shows what your school or community is doing to provide opportunities for music learning. The award also enables educators to draw attention to music programs that are sometimes overlooked or not fully understood by members of the public beyond the school community.

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