The Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network, by Dr. Carole Hankin

Since 1990, Dr. Carole Hankin has led New York’s Syosset Central School District as Superintendent. During her tenure, Dr. Hankin has prioritized personal and educational enrichment through the arts. In 2002, Syosset Central School District’s Board of Education received the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network and National School Boards Association Award in recognition of its achievement in facilitating the nation’s top arts education program.

For the last 22 years, The Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network has partnered with the National School Boards Association (NSBA) to recognize school boards that advocate the highest degree of education and commitment to the arts in their school districts. Specifically, KCAAEN awards boards whose educational programs focus on dance, visual arts, theater, and music, the four disciplines considered to be the cornerstone of artistic pursuits.

Every year, school districts across the United States place increasing emphasis on their arts programs. In addition to instilling a desire for greater education in disciplines such as science, mathematics, language, and history, more teachers recognize the necessity of creative expression. Educators and administrators hope that by encouraging an interest in different types of art, students will continue to satisfy their desire for creative expression by enrolling in additional art courses throughout their educational careers.

Candidates for the annual KCAAEN award are narrowed down to school boards per state. Representatives from KCAAEN and the NSBA confer with educators and administrators involved in the arts to make the final decision. The chosen board receives the award at the yearly NSBA conference and joins an extensive list of school districts that have won the award dating back to 2001.