NISD named District of Distinction by TAEA
NISD named District of Distinction by TAEA
Posted on 09/24/2020
Northwest ISD Student Art ProjectNorthwest ISD was named a District of Distinction by the Texas Art Education Association (TAEA), an honor given to Texas school districts that advocate for and integrate visual arts curriculum in their schools.

Only 42 districts in the state received the award from the more than 1,000 districts eligible. NISD will be honored at the TAEA conference, which will be held virtually on Nov. 21.

Northwest ISD Granger Elementary student holding a ceramic orange fish in a colorful elementary art classroom

All Texas schools are required to teach art, but Northwest ISD makes it a priority, said Rebecca O’Donovan, director of fine arts. From their first day at school, NISD students are taught by certified art teachers as part of their general education.

“Art is important because it touches on a part of kids’ brains that aren’t always reached in our core classes,” she said. “It allows students to creatively express themselves. It stretches students. It allows them to see the world through new perspectives.”

Northwest ISD Tidwell Middle School student sketching a pencil drawing of a rocket in outer space

Art supports students academically, but allows them the chance to achieve outside of their core academic classes, said Alicia Hughes, art teacher at Tidwell Middle School.

“Our art program is student centered to teach techniques,” she said. “But it also allows them the opportunity to find their artistic voice.”

Northwest ISD art students learn to draw, paint, explore perspectives, study light, and create stunning pieces of art.

Ceramic art project of soup bowls and spoons to raise awareness of world hunger

Each art program is also equipped with a kiln to support projects like the “Empty Bowls Art Exhibit” at Granger Elementary. Third grade students raise awareness for world hunger through their artwork, and students are encouraged to donate canned goods to support a local charity in the weeks leading up to the exhibit.

The Texas Art Education Association asked districts to share projects highlighting student involvement in visual arts advocacy, community service, field experiences, and district art exhibitions.

Northwest ISD Justin Elementary student holding portrait of a dog from Apollo Animal Shelter to promote pet adoption.

That was easy for the teachers and students at Northwest ISD. They showcased how students at Justin Elementary School painted portraits of animals available for adoption at a local shelter, that the district’s 2019 holiday card was designed by Eaton High School student Chelby Lewis, and the student art showcase at Celebrate Roanoke last year.

“Our teachers work so incredibly hard to build our students up and give them the best experiences possible,” O’Donovan said. “This honor is a testament to our teachers and what they do every day.”