Kevin R. George, superintendent of the St. John the Baptist Parish Public School District in Reserve, La., has been awarded VH1 Save The Music Foundation’s 12th annual Administrator Award for Distinguished Support of Music Education.
The prestigious award is presented at AASA’s (The School Superintendents Association) annual National Conference on Education held in New Orleans this year. The award recognizes one superintendent or school CEO who has exhibited outstanding commitment to restoring music education in his or her school district.
George was chosen for his deep commitment to providing St. John the Baptist Parish students with music education as part of the community’s well-rounded curriculum. Through his partnership with VH1 Save The Music and the school district, all public schools in St. John the Baptist Parish now have full time music teachers and will have thriving band programs by fall 2017.
Since 2013, VH1 Save The Music Foundation has donated $170,000 worth of new musical instruments to St. John the Baptist Parish Public Schools. AASA’s National Conference on Education brings public education’s best thought leaders together each year to discuss the most critical issues facing the nation’s public schools.
“Mr. George’s work in the St. John the Baptist Parish School District has been a shining example of what public school music programs should strive for,” said Chiho Okuizumi Feindler, senior director of programs and policy for the VH1 Save The Music Foundation. “We are thrilled to recognize Mr. George for his unparalleled support from the top. His commitment ensured equitable access to music and the arts for students district-wide.”
When VH1 Save The Music Foundation began a partnership with St. John the Baptist Parish Public Schools in 2013, there had not been a district music program in any of its K-8 schools. George made it his mission to bring music education back for all students in K-8 and VH1 Save The Music was a proud partner in the effort. Each year, a firm commitment was made from George to budget for and hire certified music teachers. Overall, George hired 8 full-time music teachers since 2013, a true testament to his belief in music education and its benefit to young students. With the commitment from him and the district, VH1 Save The Music Foundation donated grants of musical instruments to West St. John Elementary, LaPlace Elementary, John L. Ory Communication Arts Magnet School, Emily C. Watkins Elementary and Garyville-Mt. Airy Math & Science Magnet School and is planning to donate band instruments to the remaining three schools in the district by fall 2017.
“The St. John the Baptist Parish School Board strives to work as one to educate our children in every field of human endeavor,” George said. “We tap into all of their talents, whether it’s academic, athletic or music. With the assistance, support and guidance of the VH1 Save the Music Foundation, we have brought music into our schools in a region with a rich history of the arts. On behalf of the School Board, our music instructors, our students and our community, I want to say thank you and the best is yet to come!”
Past recipients of this award include: Russell Freitas, superintendent of the Firebaugh-Las Deltas Unified (Ca.) School District, Kristi Sandvik, superintendent of Buckeye (Ariz.) Elementary School District, Reginald Mayo, retired superintendent of New Haven (Ct.) Public Schools; Rita Bishop, superintendent of Roanoke City (Va.) Public Schools; Kathy L. Kelly, superintendent of the Columbia Heights (Minn.) Public Schools; Duncan N. P. "Pat" Pritchett Jr., past superintendent of the Indianapolis (Ind.) Public Schools; John Lange, past superintendent of Adams County (Colo.) School District 14; Carol Johnson, past superintendent of the Memphis City (Tenn.) Schools and current superintendent of the Boston (Mass.) Public Schools; Richard Kaplan, superintendent of New Brunswick (N.J.) Public Schools; Eugene White, superintendent of the Indianapolis (Ind.) Public Schools and James A. Williams, past superintendent of the Buffalo (N.Y.) Public Schools.
About VH1 Save The Music Foundation
The VH1 Save The Music Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring instrumental music education programs in America’s public schools, and raising awareness about the importance of music as part of each child’s complete education. Founded in 1997, VH1 Save The Music was the first organization in existence dedicated to restoring music programs in America's schools. For more than 19 years, we've donated over $53 million worth of new musical instruments to 2,024 public schools in 247 school districts around the country to date -- impacting the lives of more than 3 million public school students. Learn about the foundation’s Play It Forward campaign in celebration of its 20th anniversary here: on.vh1.com/playitforward.
AASA, The School Superintendents Association, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to the highest quality public education for all children. For more information, visit www.aasa.org.