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Nipmuc Art Department wins Award for Excellence

Nipmuc Regional High School Art teachers, Alison Clish, Jessica Grady, and Kevin Campbell submitted a 600-word article to be eligible for the Award for Excellence and Innovation in the Arts. The three did so well that they received the award, which recognizes and celebrates College Board member schools that implement an arts program that promotes student learning in exemplary and innovative ways, and the accompanying $3,000 in prize money that will be used to help with the Nipmuc art program.

In a collaborative effort the three wrote of their teaching philosophies, rubrics, and curriculum. Their entry also included six pages of student artwork. Clish noted that had so many wonderful pieces to choose from.

All three art teachers are proud of the art department, saying, Nipmuc's arts elective program exposes students to a wide variety of studio experiences ranging from painting, to fine arts to computer design. Clish explained that one of the reasons they were chosen for this award is that they feature an open studio scheduling system which enables them to offer 25 art courses among the three of them. Students are able to engage in almost every available art course during any given class period. In this open studio format, new students and advanced students work side by side inspiring each other, helping each other and learning through formal and informal critiques. Campbell said the younger students really look up to the older students and are excited to take new courses they see the older students participate in.

The College Board established the award for Excellence and Innovation in the Arts, along with the $3,000 prize, in 2010 at the recommendation of the College Board's National Task Force on Arts Education.

Clish explained they will use the money received to update much needed technology. The three hope to purchase new software, a couple of drawing tablets, a Mac Book and some digital cameras. Grady noted that despite the budget cuts in the recent years, parents have been more than willing to buy items needed to run certain classes and she noted how supportive they all are. Clish added their hope is to provide the students with the technology they will need when they attend college.




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