Martin Luther King, Jr., Diversity Celebration 2020
"Plano ISD Proud"
Plano ISD's annual tribute event celebrating the vision of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the diverse Plano ISD community, was held the evening of January 23 at Williams High School. Helping to celebrate the inspirational leadership of Dr. King and our proud community were 150 student performers along with featured guest performer Austin Dean Ashford.
The event showcased student talent through musical performances, student writing, artwork and a collaborative speech performance. Pre-program entertainment was provided by Plano Senior High School's Evolution under the direction of Brian Coatney. The Williams High School Panther Battalion Color Guard under the direction of Command Sergeant Major (retired) Michael Franklin and Sergeant First Class (retired) Pete Loredo began the official program with the posting of colors.
Showcased during the event were: The Plano Children's Chorale—under the direction of Virgina Asiatico, Daffron Elementary music teacher and Elizabeth Gaines,Barksdale Elementary music teacher—performed Give Us Hope by Jim Papoulis; a musical performance by the Clark High School cast of Matilda directed by theatre teacher Eric Feldman; a collaborative performance by speech students from Bowman, Hendrick, Otto, Rice and Wilson Middle Schools along with Plano Senior High School and Vines High School students directed by Stef Cambra, Plano Senior High; and the Program Finale performed by the Plano West Senior High School Show Choirs directed by Sarah Council and joined by the Plano Children's Chorale performing Proud by Heather Smalls.
Awards are an important part of this event and the MLK student art contest and writing contest winners were honored. And the Diversity Leadership awards were presented. With this annual tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we proudly celebrate our students, staff and community and what makes us Plano ISD Proud. View Facebook photo gallery.
Thursday, January 23, 2020
6:30 PM (pre-show) | 7:00 PM (program)
Williams High School Auditorium
1717 17th Street
Plano, TX 75074
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Diversity Art Contest
MLK Art Contest Semifinalists, Finalists and Winner
Plano ISD students, grades kindergarten through twelve, entered their original artwork in the Martin Luther King, Jr. diversity art contest. Works were displayed at the Plano ISD Proud Diversity Celebration. Finalists in each group were awarded monetary awards thanks to the diversity art contest sponsor: Plano ISD Education Foundation.
Contest Winner and Sixth to Eighth Grade Finalist: Hallie Wang, Rice Middle School; Plano East Art Teacher Colin McGrane accepted the award for Ninth to Twelfth Grade Finalist, Tristan Talkington, Plano East Senior High; Third to Fifth Grade Finalist: Roa Rotem, Bethany Elementary; Kindergarten to Second Grade Finalist: Pranav Balakrishnan, Gulledge Elementary.
Diversity Leadership Award Winners
Group Diversity Leadership Award Winner: Hedgcoxe Elementary Staff and PTA
The celebration of our diverse community has always been important to the Hedgcoxe Elementary staff and PTA, but over the last few years, they have partnered together to grow this celebration from a single event to a year-long commitment to the goal of highlighting what makes us all unique.
Hedgecoxe Elementary PTA President Alicia Wanek and Hedgcoxe Principal Kristi Graham.
Individual Diversity Leadership Award Winner: Caitlin Bailey-Garafola
Caitlin Bailey-Garafola, tenth grade Humanities and AP European History teacher at Jasper High School, was nominated for this award due to her dedication to highlighting and celebrating diversity on her campus. She spearheaded the creation of a diversity committee at Jasper, comprising representatives from each campus department.
Caitlin Bailey-Garafola, Jasper High School, Tenth Grade Humanities and AP European History Teacher.
Special Award: Dollie Thomas, Retired Diversity Board Advisory Committee
Dollie Thomas, retired Plano ISD employee and long time board diversity advisory committee member was proudly honored for her dedication to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dollie has been a respected and valued team member in the school district and in the Plano community at large. The committee presented this special award in thanks for her leadership and for her important contributions as part of Plano ISD for 24 years. "We would be remiss if we didn't make sure you knew how valued you are and what a tremendous impact you have made on so many people," said Alex Johnson, awards presenter and Diversity Board Advisory Committee member.
Diversity Leadership Award Nominees
Alex Johnson, member of the 2019-20 diversity board advisory committee, and Tawn King, diversity board advisory committee member and Plano ISD Assistant Director for Employee Recruitment and Retention, presented the diversity leadership awards to nominees and winners. These awards are coordinated annually by the Plano ISD diversity board advisory committee to recognize students staff and community members who have shown leadership and commitment in fostering and promoting harmony, respect, acceptance and understanding among the diverse cultures within the Plano ISD community. Congratulations to all nominees and winners whose actions to embrace diversity and educate others have been noted by the community.
2020 Diversity Leadership Award Nominees
- Caitlin Bailey-Garafola, Social Studies Teacher, Jasper High School
- Hedgcoxe Elementary Staff and PTA
- Barbara Nelson, ESL Teacher, Plano West Senior High School
- Melissa Parker, Special Education Teacher, Haggard Middle School
- The Plano ISD Council of PTAs, 2019-20 Board
Tawn King and the Diversity Leadership Award Nominees.