Arts Education E-News

Broward County Public Schools welcomed back 236,170 students on the first day of school on August 20. The District’s overall enrollment count increased by 1,333 students from last year’s first day count of 234,837.

The District expects that enrollment will continue to rise to a projected 262,251 by its official 20th day count in mid-September.

A total of 14,652 teachers were back at work, including 931 new teachers added to the roster. In comparison, the number of new teachers hired by the first day of school last year was 207. The District dedicated approximately $47 million to help address the state’s class size requirements and to begin restoring music and arts programs and physical education instruction, which suffered cuts in last year’s budget.


Art Teachers Going Above and Beyond

Janice Wilkes is the music specialist at Westwood Heights Elementary and Riverland Elementary. A very resourceful teacher, Wilkes has been selling Avon products to supplement her school’s music program, as she has not received funding for the music program in more than five years.

Wilkes started selling AVON as a way to generate funds to support and pay for new music and CDs for her school music program. Interested in expanding the limited recorder selections beyond “Hot Cross Buns” and “Mary had a Little Lamb,” she found a company with great arrangements, recorded accompaniment with real instruments, and played by real musicians, not electronic music.

She immediately found her students were engaged and "eating up" everything she bought and so every year, she ordered more. Selling AVON worked nicely for the program, and Wilkes has witnessed more interest and dedication in her students, where there has been a marked increase in voluntary attendance before school.

Arts Education Committee

This advisory committee of the Broward Cultural Council identifies community needs related to arts education. There are representatives from the School Board of Broward County, FL, Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Children's Services Council of Broward County, Nova Southeastern University, educators, arts and cultural professionals and organizations.

Broward Cultural Council
Amy Ostrau
Arts Education Chair

Jodi Jeffreys-Tanner
Vice Chair
Dorothene Kelly-Hoilett

Michael Bassichis
Grace Abel

Broward Center for the Performing Arts
Kelly Armstead

Sharon Brooks

School Board of Broward County, FL
Nora Rupert
School Board Member
Marla Armstrong

Children's Services Council of Broward County
Piper Weber-Roth

Nova Southeastern University,
Museum of Art│Fort Lauderdale
Wilma Robles-Melendez, Ph.D.

David Spangler, Ph.D.

Arts Professionals & Advocates
Melanie Camp
Adrienne Chadwick, Museum of Art│Fort Lauderdale
Pam Dearden, Gold Coast Jazz Society
Fran Mulcahy

Power of Performance
Darby Hayes

Consultant, Educator, Designer
Richard White, M.Ed, MFA

Arts Education Directory

Broward Art Education Association
The Broward Art Education Association is an organization of art education professionals in Broward County, Florida.

Click HERE to access the website

South Florida Gifted & Talented Symposium
October 25, 2012

On October 25th, Broward County Public Schools, in partnership with the Kennedy Center Partners in Education, Broward Cultural Division, and Broward Center for the Performing Arts, will host the South Florida Gifted & Talented Symposium: Cognition and the Arts. The event provides a learning forum for educational and parenting aspects unique to gifted and talented learners. The Symposium brings together thousands of educators, parents, community leaders and businesses to examine strategies and practices critical to teaching of gifted and high-achieving learners and positive parenting.

Experts from across the country and South Florida will comprise the program, including nationally renowned educators Dr. Sally Reis and Dr. Eric Booth.

Keynote Address featuring Dr. Sally Reis (8:30 am to 10:00 am)
Breakout Session Choice 1 (10:15 am – 11:15 am)
Breakout Session Choice 2 (11:30 am – 12:30 pm)

Breakout Session Choice 3 (12:45 pm – 1:45 pm)

Breakout Session Choice 4 (2:00 pm – 3:00 pm)

Dr. Reis will provide the keynote address and Dr. Booth will present on multiple intelligences and the use of the arts to reach gifted and talented students. Other breakout sessions include topics such as:

  • Cognitive cross-training
  • Creative thinking and the Arts
  • Improvised Shakespeare
  • Fostering Resilient Children
  • Underachieving Gifted Students
  • Evidence-based instructional strategies and materials
  • Exemplary music performances and art exhibitions from Broward County Public Schools

An early registration fee of $30.00 is available to registrants before October 5th. On October 5th, registration will increase to $40.00.

Click HERE to Register

(l - r) Nina Zakrzewski, Grace Kewl-Durfey,
Hilary Fine, and Susan Ostheim
(l – r) Nina Zakrzewski, Grace Kewl-Durfey,
Hilary Fine, and Susan Ostheim
Arts Education Committee News

Three finalists have been selected by the Arts Education Committee for the 2012 Broward County Arts Teacher of the Year.

Listen to WLRN's Arts Beat with Ed Bell, on Friday, September 21, 2012, at 1:00 pm, for a news segment on this announcement and event!

Hilary Fine, visual art, Hollywood Academy of Arts & Science; Susan Ostheim, visual art, South Broward High School and Nina Zakrzewski, musical theatre, acting, stagecraft, English honors, Nova High School are the esteemed finalists for this excellence in arts education award. Broward County’s 27th Arts Teacher of the Year celebration will be held on Wednesday, October 24, 2012, at 6 p.m., at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. Please RSVP Here for this event.

Hilary Fine has made it her mission to advance the integration of the arts and education, focusing her work on introducing the various world cultures, community and human dignity. Susan Ostheim encourages her students, co-workers, and parents to "Keep the Arts Alive!" and after more than 20 years of teaching art, she can't think of anything she would rather do. Nina Zakrzewski’s advanced acting classes have been proclaimed “Agents of Change” by Broward’s Office of Prevention, through their original anti-bullying musical, Weight of Words, which has been touring Broward County Schools, and also performing for the Broward Center Student Enrichment in the Arts (SEAS) Program, playing to more than 20,000 people.

This year’s event is gearing up to be particularly glittered, with an ensemble cast of local celebrities and talent, led by CBS4s Emmy Award-Winning Anchor Shannon Hori who will emcee the evening’s festivities. The program will include more than 100 students from the three finalist high schools performing and exhibiting, through a visual arts exhibition in the lobby of the Broward Center, and a series of six – eight minute stage performances. The singing of the National Anthem, will be conducted by local singing sensation Julia Dale, the 11-year-old who recently received national attention when she sang the National Anthem at the NBA Finals for the Miami Heat in 2011 and 2012; and the Dillard Jazz Ensemble’s performance led by Band Director Christopher Dorsey will also be on the program. Additionally this year, arts education supporter DJ Felix Sama with 93.9 MIA (Clear Channel) and the Rhythm City DJ Skool will perform at the reception.

For 27 years, the Arts Teacher of the Year Program has celebrated and showcased the artistic excellence of students and faculty of Broward County schools. Through a partnership among Broward Cultural Division, the School Board of Broward County, Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Business for the Arts of Broward and sponsorship from AutoNation; BankUnited; BBX Capital; BGT Partners; Broward College; FPL; Great American Farms; Kopelowitz, Ostrow, Ferguson, Weiselberg, Keechl; Merrimac Ventures; Nova Southeastern University; RSM McGladrey; Starmark; Stiles Corporation; Sun-Sentinel; and WLD Enterprises, the Arts Teacher of the Year Program highlights an outstanding arts teacher and provides an opportunity for arts students to gain valuable experience performing in a high quality, professional, performing arts institution.

Pam Dearden Executive Director 
Gold Coast Jazz Society
(Mike Stocker/Sun Sentinel)
Pam Dearden Executive Director
Gold Coast Jazz Society

(Mike Stocker/Sun Sentinel)
Arts Education Directory Spotlight

Pamella Dearden
Executive Director, Gold Coast Jazz Society

Recently, The Sun-Sentinel published a profile about Gold Coast Jazz Society's Executive Director Pamella Dearden.

To Read the full article, inclusive of the Q & A, click HERE.

Visit,, or call 954-524-0805, for more information.

Donna Haynes
Donna Haynes
Broward County Teacher Selected
STAR (State Teachers Artist Residency

The Florida Alliance for Arts Education (FAAE) along with its partner the Hermitage Artist Retreat celebrated the winners of the State Teachers Artist Residency (STAR) at the Hermitage in Sarasota County, by inviting them to the summer residency at the Hermitage. Broward County visual artist, Donna Haynes was one of the selected five. Haynes teaches an AP studio program at J.P. Taravella High School in Coral Springs. Her curriculum includes drawing, painting, photography, ceramics and sculpture.

The STAR Program was designed to honor and nourish the artist in the Florida educator with the hope that this personal time for concentration in a community of other artists will be a rewarding time to create, share and learn from others. It also allows these talented teachers to re-engage with their art so when they return to their schools, they will be excited and energized with a new enthusiasm for teaching the next generation of writers, painters and composers.

Each year, Florida arts teachers can apply for a four-week residency at the Hermitage Artist Retreat through this statewide organization.

AIn Memoriam: Alyx Kellington
A Photographer Who Embraced the County's Art and Education Scene

Recently, South Florida's arts education and art scene said a tearful and unexpected farewell to one of its stalwart and respected members, Alyx Kellington.