Prescott recognized for district’s art quality

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 4, 2001

&uot;All the arts for all the kids&uot; is the vision of the Minnesota Alliance for Arts in Education, and the organization believes Dr.

Wednesday, April 04, 2001

&uot;All the arts for all the kids&uot; is the vision of the Minnesota Alliance for Arts in Education, and the organization believes Dr. David Prescott has demonstrated that same vision as superintendent of Albert Lea Schools.

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Prescott, named a recipient last month of a 2001 Arts Education Leadership Award, has worked to increase the visibility and accessibility of arts in Albert Lea’s public schools in his 14 years in the district, the alliance said.

&uot;The whole district, including the principals, teachers and school board, is committed to having a real arts presence in every building,&uot; Prescott said. &uot;I consider this a district-wide award.&uot;

When Prescott was a principal in the district, visual art was taught from a cart in the elementary schools.

Since then, and especially in the last five years, the district has hired visual arts specialists for each elementary school, Prescott said. Displays of student artwork are featured at every school board meeting and in every building

According to the alliance, Prescott has been supportive of the effort to participate in the Comprehensive Arts Planning Program (CAPP) to make learning possible in all six arts areas: music, dance, theater, literary arts, visual arts and media arts.

The new high school is the community’s most recent monument to the arts, Prescott said. A new performance hall and theatre provides an excellent facility for plays and concerts. A new television studio with state-of-the-art digital video equipment and editing software has launched a new video production curriculum. Plans for the new high school also included a strong commitment to visual arts with a bronze tiger sculpture and an art wall, under development by commissioned artist Mark Hall. Prescott said District 241 was one of two districts selected as a Congressional District 1 pARTner School to provide a regional center for professional development opportunities for teachers.

&uot;Our art and music teachers are the key to the whole arts picture in our schools,&uot; said Prescott. &uot;I think we’re a very fortunate district, and Albert Lea as a community has always been supportive of the arts.&uot;

Prescott said funding, along with attracting and retaining qualified teachers, is the district’s biggest challenge in building arts programs that can last.

&uot;I think that’s a worthy goal for the district, to build our reputation as a top arts education community,&uot; Prescott said.