The Beaufort County School District has won a 2014 ElizabethO'Neill Verner Governor's Award for the Arts, the highest honor the state presentsin the arts and the only entity recognized in the education category.
Established in 1972, the annual awards from the SouthCarolina Arts Commission recognize outstanding achievement and contributions tothe arts in South Carolina.
"The Beaufort CountySchool District has worked tirelessly to advance the arts within its Lowcountrycommunity," the Arts Commission said in a statement. "Studentperformances, exhibitions and artist residencies are regular features at allschools, and community performances are frequent field trips for school groups.High quality, ongoing professional development is a priority for all teachersinvolved in the arts, not just those at schools with an arts focus."
Hilton Head Island School for the Creative Arts, Lady'sIsland Elementary School and Beaufort Middle School are Arts in BasicCurriculum sites, and Lady's Island Middle School is working toward an ABCdesignation.
ABC schools integrate the arts into their curriculum, andthe project is directed by the Arts Commission, the South Carolina Dept. ofEducation and the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Winthrop University.
"Beaufort County stretches over 500 square miles, yeteverywhere you look the fingerprint of Beaufort County student artists isevident," the Arts Commission said in a statement. "Beaufort County is anarts-rich community eager to foster strong collaborations and support artseducation in any way possible. Over the years, hundreds of students have beenhonored for their accomplishments in the arts, including the United StatesCongressional Art Award, the National Foundation for the Advancement in theArts Young Fellows awards, Advanced Placement Art selections and EmergingArtist Awards."
Awards will be presented at a Statehouse ceremony on May 8.The SCAF will honor recipients and the arts community on May 7 at the SouthCarolina Arts Gala.
"The excellence of our arts program is no secret here inBeaufort County, but it's terrific to see that excellence recognized on astatewide level," said Superintendent Jeff Moss in a statement. "Thededicated work of our school leaders and arts teachers is enriching thecultural life of our entire community."
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