Alvin and Louise Myerberg Arts Leadership Recognition Awards

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Arts Education in Maryland Schools Alliance, in honor of Alvin and Louise Myerberg, is pleased to provide the Arts Leadership Recognition Awards. The awards are designed to recognize and honor principals for their excellent arts education leadership and for providing a creative learning environment for outstanding student achievement. The awards are presented to outstanding principals from Maryland public school systems who recognize the power of the arts in preparing today's learner with 21st century skills, and in doing so support teaching in and through the arts as a way of engaging students.

AEMS Alliance understands that helping principals do a better job should be the cornerstone of efforts to improve student learning. AEMS is committed to facilitating enhanced opportunities for principals who support arts-based instruction, arts integration, and teaching strategies that enrich and deepen arts instruction across all subject areas.

Each year, AEMS hosts an event to honor the nominated principals and announce the award winners. The 2016 Arts Leadership Recognition Awards Breakfast and Forum took place at The American Visionary Art Museum on November 2, 2016, where three award winners were announced and received $500 towards their schools' arts programs.

Thank you to the Fine Arts Supervisors who make it possible to honor such distinguished leaders in Maryland public education!

Picture of this year's group


2016 Winners of the Arts Leadership Recognition Awards:

  • Jennifer Lane Jennifer Lane, Westbrook Elementary School, Montgomery County
  • Jennifer Lane’s support of the arts comes from a deep level of appreciation and understanding of the intrinsic value of the arts and the opportunities to teach the whole child that instruction through the arts provides. With her guidance Westbrook Elementary School has become a culture that embraces the arts.  Through the artist in residence program and community partnerships Westbrook students at every grade level have worked with amazing visual artists to create murals, mosaics and mobiles. Working with captivating performing artists they have created and performed their own operas, song parodies, musicals and plays. Under Ms. Lane’s leadership teachers have learned to incorporate art practice into their teaching throughout the school year embracing the schools mission: supporting students as they achieve academic excellence, learn with and through the arts and demonstrate a commitment to valuing the environment and our natural world.


  • Carter photo Christopher Rattay, Ellicott Mills Middle School, Howard County
  • Chris Rattay’s positive leadership and enthusiastic support of arts education evident throughout the building and in the vision of Ellicott Mills Middle School. Mr. Rattay is an exemplary supporter of arts in his school, expanding the music department offerings, increasing staffing for arts instruction and creating a master schedule that fosters collaborative opportunities between academic and performing arts. A tireless arts advocate he was able add additional classroom space dedicated to arts instruction to support the growth of arts programs and doubling the exhibition space. His genuine interest in his student artists acknowledging their accomplishments as they explore art making skills, generate ideas and problem solve to create thought provoking and deeply personal artworks.


  • Campbell photo Abbey Campbell, Owings Mills High School, Baltimore County
  • Under Principal Abbey Campbell’s guidance and inspiration, Owings Mills High School has become one of Baltimore County’s most successful and inspiring arts programs as part of a comprehensive high school. Ms. Campbell increased staffing for the arts from seven full-time positions to nine full-time positions dedicated to visual art and dance. Ms. Campbell has found a special formula for advancing the arts in collaboration with the county initiatives. Her philosophy is that the arts helped to provide rich connections to the school that promote higher graduation rates and contribute to the overall well-being of each student in the building.


2016 Nominees for the Arts Leadership Recogniton Awards:

  • Carter photoJessica Blackmon-Stewart, Braddock Middle School, Baltimore City
  • Principal Blackmon-Stewart, has been instrumental in articulating the path forward for Booker T. Washington Middle developing the strategic plan to transform her school in to a school for the arts, forging an access pathway for students to matriculate into Baltimore School for the Arts, Baltimore Design School or other high schools of choice throughout Baltimore. Leveraging community partnerships that include the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, University of Maryland, and Young Audiences Arts for Learning of Maryland among others and creating the A+ Advisory Board, Ms. Stewart further advances the Booker T. Washington’s mission and vision with the arts as a pivotal part of school identity and culture.

  • Chang-Baxter photoHarvey Chambers, Windsor Mill Middle School, Baltimore County
  • With Principal Chambers wholehearted support, Windsor Mill Middle School offers a full spectrum of fine arts classes that weave in opportunities for students to gain global art arts perspective. He supports integrating the arts into the curriculum to help students become global citizens. Mr. Chambers is a vigorous advocate for all of the arts programs (dance, music and visual art) and works to ensure that arts classes are equipped with technology, materials and equipment needed to implement all of these at a high level. The Arts are abundant and thriving for every student at Windsor Mill Middle School.

  • Coleman photoSue Chittim, Annapolis High School, Anne Arundel County
  • At Annapolis High School, Ms. Chittim has been deeply involved in working to ensure equity and full access of all arts programs fostering an environment where students feel comfortable and safe in their journey towards artistic expression. She has been instrumental in selecting, increasing and retaining high quality arts instructors. Under her guidance, Annapolis HS will offer its first adaptive dance class for students in alternative curriculum programs. With Ms. Chittim’s wholehearted support, Annapolis offers a full spectrum of fine arts classes including Advanced Placement Studio Arts and Music Theory, International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme and the Performing & Visual Arts Magnet creative writing, dance, theatre and visual arts classes.

  • Kauffman  photoMaralee Clark, Lyons Mill Elementary School, Baltimore County
  • Principal Maralee Clark has shown extraordinary leadership at the newly opened Lyons Mill Elementary School where she encourages her teachers to provide structured, rigorous and well-rounded education with over twenty after and before school clubs including a’cappella, jazz ensemble, art, and dance team. Ms. Clark has been instrumental in supporting her teachers as they plan arts shows, musical performances and ballroom dancing events. She has created a team of educators that go above and beyond to broaden student’s education and provide students experiences that they will never forget.

  • Clowers photo Dorothy Clowers, William Paca Elementary School, Prince George's County
  • Anyone who has any affiliation with William Paca can validate Ms. Clowers support in art instruction, integration and academic excellence. Through art infused standard based classrooms, bulletin boards, artist residencies and arts integration professional development, Principal Clowers has steered her school on a strong arts based trajectory where teaching strategies become enriched and deepened through arts instruction across all content areas.  Ms. Clowers has created a climate of exploration and enthusiasm where all of the teachers in the school are encouraged to create opportunities for art to intersect with academic content. Her forward thinking pedagogy taps into the 21st Century Skills and non-traditional cognition that is essential and is paving the pathway for higher level thinking for all students.

  • Lattimore photo Nina Lattimore, Capitol Heights Elementary School, Prince George's County
  • The entire building at Capital Heights Elementary School exudes the arts in an environment that Ms. Lattimore’s leadership has created and encouraged. The arts are integrated in daily practice and students receive a high-quality arts education that supports teaching and learning. She has created strong ties with the community and increased community involvement through demonstrating how the arts showcase student learning and growth. Under her leadership arts integration has been seamlessly woven into the Talented and Gifted and Spanish STEM Dual Language classes.  Arts integration strategies are used in all learning activities in her school and learning is demonstrated through student performances that promote culture and language.

  • Lindley photoGeorge Lindley, Arundel Middle School, Anne Arundel County
  • Mr. Lindley’s support of the arts and arts integration has been a critical piece of his instructional leadership, his belief in the importance of the arts has resulted in transformation in both instruction and learning for teachers and students. Arundel Middle School experienced a significant increase in enrollment and staffing in dance, visual art and music courses because of his policies and attention to the arts. Mr. Lindley has advocated for improvements to arts instruction by lowering dance class sizes and installing a second dance studio. Mr. Lindley’s goal to increase critical thinking and problem solving skills through the arts is an integral part of the school’s improvement plan and is reflected in the mission and vision to empower life-long learners who are creative thinkers.  

  • Patton photoTerry Patton, Franklin Square Elementary/Middle School, Baltimore City
  • Franklin Square Elementary/Middle School under the leadership of Terry Patton, has seen significant growth over the past two years widening student access to diverse offerings in sequential arts instruction. Ms. Patton continues to prioritize the growth of her arts program by increasing staffing with the addition of a half time instrumental music teacher and another full time visual art and theatre teacher. She maintains several community partnerships and constantly advocates for resources for her arts teachers so that her students can receive quality arts education.

  • Rivers photoCraig Rivers, Mergenthaler Vocational/Technical High School, Baltimore City
  • One only need walk through the doors to see that Mergenthaler is alive with the arts. Mr. Rivers outstanding leadership and tireless efforts in cultivating the minds of students through the integration of the arts has proven to be transformative. Mergenthaler, the largest campus in the district, offers a comprehensive arts program that includes music, theatre, and visual arts courses and supports extracurricular arts including a dance team. Community partnerships and support is demonstrated in the theatrical, dance and drumline performances. The climate for the arts in the school may be evidenced in the fact that Mr. River’s visual arts teacher Ms. Kyriakakos was selected by MSDE as the 2016 Maryland Teacher of the Year.

  • Taylor photoKarl Streaker, Mount Airy Middle School, Carroll County
  • Karl Streaker works to ensure that students at Mount Airy Middle School receive high quality arts education supporting the vision to build their capacity toward 21st century skills including artistic problem solving and innovative thinking. Mr. Streaker has cultivated community partnerships with arts and cultural organizations, local artists and performers. Exhibits and performances are abundant within the school and into the extended community. Mr. Streaker advocates for and genuinely believes that arts education provides everything we need for our students; academic achievement, social and emotional development, civic engagement and equitable opportunity.


  • Martin photoMartin Tierney, Manchester Elementary School, Carroll County
  • The environment that Martin Tierney has fostered at Manchester Elementary School demonstrates that his students flourish when creativity drives learning. Arts learning is visible within the school and out in the surrounding community. Mr. Tierney supports an arts rich schedule and extends additional opportunities in the arts through after school performances and exhibits. He communicates clear goals for his fine arts programs and taught by exemplary arts teachers. Mr. Tierney makes sure that arts teachers and programs have the resources needed to provide quality and authenticity supporting teaching and learning in and through the arts.

  • Toth photoLinda Toth, Lake Shore Elementary School, Anne Arundel County
  • Under Linda Toth’s guidance and tutelage, Lake Shore Elementary has institutionalized arts integration as an approach to teaching and learning. She attributes the school’s Blue Ribbon status largely to the success and impact of arts integration. Ms. Toth is committed to involving students in many arts experiences including dance festivals, musical performances and the annual Arts Night. She utilitzess her experienced arts integrated trained staff, artists in residence and resources of the AACPS Arts Integration Office to provide professional development to strenghthen and support her teachers.  She has been a driving force in providing a learning enviornment that promotes academic excellence and creativity.



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