News in fine arts education
◄Alamo Heights ISD fine arts educators and students collaborate and create a student showcase for the annual TASA/TASB Convention.
Alamo Heights ISD educators reap lessons from the fine art of collaboration By Bari Wenglein
t’s hard to believe that it all started with an email, inviting the Alamo Heights ISD fine arts staff to a “quick, 20-minute meeting.” Our superintendent, Kevin Brown, was stepping up to serve as president of the Texas Association of School Administrators, and our district was being invited to perform a student showcase at TASA’s joint annual conference with the Texas Association of School Boards in September. We would be a part of the team that would create, develop, produce and perform the show. That brief meeting turned out to be the beginning of a journey that has been more than I could have ever imagined. The collec-
Texas School Business NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016
tive group of elementary music and strings directors; middle school choir, strings, band and theater teachers; and high school choir, orchestra, band, theater and dance teachers in our district had the incredible opportunity to collaborate and create a production that represented the culture and ideals of Alamo Heights ISD and the principles and standards of public education in Texas. As we came together to design the TASA/ TASB Student Showcase, we agreed from the very beginning that we would tell a story celebrating the joy of everything related to public education — the joy of learning, the love of teaching, the expectations, chal-
lenges, convictions, values and character that define our purpose. In working with one another, it was evident that we were on our way to creating something much bigger than ourselves. There was a story that had to be told about the great work in Texas public schools. It became more than our one classroom, school or district. It was more than one teacher or bus driver, coach or custodian. We knew there were classrooms, schools, districts and communities, just like ours, all over the state of Texas. We knew that each was making a difference in the life of a child, and this was the story that needed to be shared. With this