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Plano ISD Named TAEA 2020 District of Distinction for Visual Arts

September 18, 2020

Plano ISD is among the top 4 percent of districts in the state honored as one of the Texas Art Education Association (TAEA) 2020 Districts of Distinction. TAEA announced the 42 award winners (the top 4% of eligible districts) on September 10. Winning districts received the honor for providing a well-rounded education that advocates and integrates a visual arts curriculum that inspires creativity and reaches all learners. 

Superintendent Sara Bonser on learning of the award had this to say, “We are so proud of the Plano ISD’s visual arts teaching staff and the department leadership’s high standards and commitment to the visual arts, not just because of this award, but every day in Plano ISD. During this past school year in particular, providing our learners with quality visual arts curriculum during remote learning presented both an opportunity and challenge for the visual arts team. This distinction shows the dedication and commitment to providing quality visual arts opportunities to students at a time when having creative outlets are more important than ever for our students. We are thankful for the outstanding teachers and leaders in our visual arts programs as well as our Board of Trustees for continuing to keep fine arts as a key priority for Plano ISD students.”

TAEA recognition of districts of distinction began in 2019. The award strives to honor Texas school districts that are leading the way in the visual arts. Districts of distinction have outstanding leadership and promote the arts in their district and community. Fine Arts Director Kathy Kuddes said, "Meeting the requirements for this award during a year of quarantine and pandemic where for months students were learning remotely, speaks volumes about the dedication of our talented team of visual arts teachers at every grade level. I am extremely proud of their ongoing commitment to excellence and their ability to provide a creative and engaging visual arts education. It is a privilege to lead the fine arts department and support this cadre of talented, energetic and committed teachers."

Districts competed using the 2019-20 rigorous 12-point rubric that include work and activities in the following areas. 

  1. TASA/TASB Show
  2. Youth Art Month Show and Capitol Show 
  3. Art Teachers Membership 
  4. VASE (Visual Art Scholastic Event), Junior VASE and TEAM 
  5. Texas Big Art Day
  6. Visual Arts Advocacy articles promoting visual art event
  7. Social Media
  8. District Exhibition
  9. Community Service 
  10. Field trips
  11. Collaboration with other disciplines
  12. Administration and Supervision Conference Session, representatives attends TAEA conference session

Visual Arts Coordinator Laura Grundler, who works directly with the district's visual arts teachers, said, "Plano ISD visual arts teachers are a creative group of artists who value their connections to the visual arts and are passionate about providing an excellent visual art education for all Plano ISD students. At every grade level, they exemplify excellence in the visual arts, arts education and invite our community to participate through planned exhibits and activities open to their communities and the public."

Explore Some of the 2019-2020 Visual Arts Exhibits, Awards and Advocacy

Online Exhibitions

Student Awards

Social Media and Advocacy