Oologah girl named 2020 State Superintendent Awards for Arts Excellence recipient

Every spring, students from across Oklahoma receive special recognition at the State Superintendent’s Awards for Arts Excellence.

The global pandemic forced cancellation of the 29th annual event, hosted by the Oklahoma Alliance of the Arts, Oklahoma State Department of Education and Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma. However, high school juniors and seniors were still recognized for their remarkable talents and received their medals and certificates in packets mailed in late spring.

Eliana Buchanan from Oologah High School was among the 157 high school students named a recipient of the 2020 State Superintendent Awards for Arts Excellence. Buchanan was recognized in the vocal music category.

Students received awards in band, dance, drama/theater, instrumental music, piano, visual arts and vocal music. Teachers and administrators are also honored for their leadership and support of quality arts education and academic excellence in Oklahoma schools. Representatives of the Oklahoma Alliance for Arts Education reviewed all nominations during the selection process.

“By studying and pursuing the arts, these students are equipping themselves with a well-rounded education needed in this fast-paced world of technological advances and innovation,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister. “Student creativity will be an integral part of Oklahoma’s creative growth. I am extremely proud of these young men and women, and I encourage their schools and communities to celebrate their accomplishments.” 

“This award is the highest accolade by the State of Oklahoma honoring students, teachers and administrators who exemplify arts excellence,” said Chris Barber, Chair of the Oklahoma Alliance for Arts Education and fine arts administrator for Owasso Public Schools. “The award brings the disciplines of music, dance, theater and visual arts together, showing these recipients that their hard work, passion, creativity and expression are valued components of our communities and culture.”

The 2020 State Superintendent’s Awards for Arts Excellence teacher honoree is Clint Reed, visual art educator at Frederick High School in Frederick Public Schools. The 2020 administrator honorees include Marie Howard, assistant principal at Capitol Hill High School in Oklahoma City Public Schools, and Dr. April Grace, superintendent of Shawnee Public Schools. 


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