DOD logo

McAllen ISD is one of just 40 school districts in Texas to earn the Texas Art Education Association (TAEA) 2021 District of Distinction Award, it was announced.

This is the second straight year McAllen ISD has earned this honor, placing the district in the top four percent of school districts in the state.

More than 1,100 school districts were eligible to apply. The districts earned the award for providing a well-rounded education that advocates and integrates visual arts curriculum to inspire creativity and reach all different learners. The award is based on the 2020-21 school year.  

“We have dedicated teachers, talented students and supportive parents,” McAllen ISD Superintendent Dr. J.A. Gonzalez said. “We appreciate TAEA for recognizing their hard work and creativity.” 

“The visual arts provide an avenue for our students to channel their imagination,” McAllen ISD Fine Arts Director Debra Loya said. “Our community takes a lot of pride in both the visual arts and fine arts.” 

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 second year that TAEA is honoring districts that meet rigorous criteria as evidenced from data.

McAllen ISD’s visual arts students consistently earn distinctions at both regional and state levels.

McAllen ISD’s Fine Arts Department has been designated as one of the “Best Communities for Music Education” every year since 2013 by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation. It is one of the few districts that offers a comprehensive fine arts program that includes award-winning band, choir, orchestra, theatre arts, visual arts, mariachi and dance programs In addition, elementary students are taught by degreed and certified music teachers from kindergarten through 5th grade. High school advanced placement courses are currently offered in music theory and visual arts.

“McAllen ISD has set a high standard for visual arts advocacy, integrated visual arts curriculum, encouraged creativity and community participation,” Stacia Gower, Chair of the Administration and Supervision Division of TAEA, said. “With the challenges educators faced this past school year it is a true testament to their skill, dedication, and flexibility that the quality of their programs continued strong and comprehensive.”

McAllen ISD will be honored at the TAEA Administration & Supervision Division meeting as part of the TAEA Fall Conference on November 5.

About TAEA District of Distinction Award:
District of Distinction has just completed its third year and is looking forward to increased participation going into the 2021-22 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. 

About TAEA:
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.