Only the top 5 percent of districts in the state, including Duncanville ISD earned the honor this year.
September 27, 2022 – The Texas Art Education Association (TAEA) announced the 59 winners of the 2022 District of Distinction Award. Among the list of honorees is Duncanville ISD. The districts received the honor for providing a well-rounded education that advocates and integrates visual arts curriculum to inspire creativity and build social emotional learning that connect learners to their community and beyond.
To commemorate this honor, district leaders, the Duncanville High School National Art Honor Society, and DHS administrators and art teachers will gather on Wednesday, September 28, at 3:15 p.m. to celebrate at Duncanville High School in room K100.
TAEA is the leading advocate for the visual arts in the state. The organization has previously honored outstanding TAEA members for work in their classrooms and districts. This is the fourth year that TAEA is honoring districts that meet rigorous criteria as evidenced from data. For the 2022 award, over 1,200 districts were eligible to apply. Each district submitted documentation they met from the 14-point rubric over the 2021-2022 school year. Only 59 districts met the high standard and will receive the outstanding honor indicating they are in the top 4 percent in art education of districts in the state.
Additionally, to become a District of Distinction, ISD art departments are required to collaborate with other disciplines, and student groups must complete at least 60 hours of community service. Last year, National Art Honor Society students completed over 450 hours of community service.
“I am proud,” said Annette Valenzuela, lead art teacher at Duncanville High School. “Earning this honor was truly a collaborative effort. Art teachers across the district were responsible for entering students into art competitions and making sure they participated in the district art show.”
“Duncanville ISD has set a high standard for visual arts advocacy, integrated visual arts curriculum, encouraged creativity, community participation and student growth,” said Sandra Newton, Chair of the Administration and Supervision Division of TAEA. “It is a true testament to your visual art educators’ skill, dedication, and flexibility that the quality of their programs continued to provide strong and comprehensive visual art educational experiences to students.”
“Duncanville ISD is known for winning athletic championships. Being named a TAEA District of Distinction is a testament to our focus on excellence in academics and arts,” says Dr. Marc Smith, superintendent. “There are over 1,000 school districts in Texas. We are honored to be among this short list of elite art programs.”
Fifty-nine districts, including Duncanville ISD, will be honored at the TAEA Administration & Supervision Division meeting and General Session during the TAEA Fall Conference General Assembly on Friday, November 10, 2022.
The mission of Duncanville ISD is to engage, equip, and empower all scholars to achieve their unique potential. The district is guided by eight core values:
Accountability and excellence
Nurturing, safe environments
Honesty, integrity, and ethics
Everyone contributing to student success
Relationships, equity, and inclusion
Students as our top priority
The district serves four communities: the entire city of Duncanville and portions of Dallas, Cedar Hill, and DeSoto. The district currently educates about 12,000 students at 18 campuses: nine elementary, three intermediates, three middle schools, one high school, and two alternative campuses.
Grade levels are divided into elementary, serving students in Pre-K through four; intermediate, serving grades five and six; middle school for students in grades seven and eight; and high school for students in ninth through twelfth grades.
Duncanville ISD is in the southwest region of Dallas County along Interstate 20 and Highway 67. The district is one of the largest employers in the area, employing approximately 1,600, including almost 800 classroom teachers.
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About TAEA District of Distinction Award:
District of Distinction has just completed its fourth year and is looking forward to increased participation going into the 2022-2023 school year. The Administration and Supervision division oversees the award program. The award honors school districts that are leading the way in the visual arts. The TAEA Administration and Supervision Division recognizes districts with outstanding leadership in promoting the arts in their district and community. TAEA wants to identify districts that are actively participating members in areas such as VASE, Junior VASE, and TEAM as a few examples. The organization also looks at field experiences, community service, and community exhibitions to name a few as part of the rigorous rubric for the award.
TAEA is the largest state professional organization for art educators in the United States. It is the mission of TAEA to promote quality visual arts education through leadership, advocacy, service, and professional development.