Schools Of Distinction
Art, design, and media education are central to a comprehensive education. Participation in these courses uniquely affords students creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication skills.
Along with social and emotional skills, students involved in art, design, and media programs are well-prepared for college, career, and citizenship. As such, it is important to recognize when excellent school programs in art, design, and media education provide students these critical skills. The Illinois Art Education Association seeks to honor this programmatic and professional excellence where it occurs in Illinois schools.
The Schools of Distinction Program recognizes school art, media, & design programs that demonstrate excellence in the following areas:
- curriculum and assessment
- authentic learning
- showcasing student learning
- connected communities
- leadership and advocacy
- professional development and training
These areas, outlined in detail below, reflect the Illinois Professional Teaching Standards (IPTS). Alignment between the Schools of Distinction Criteria and the IPTS are highlighted in the criteria. Embedded within the criteria are the principles of equity, cultural responsiveness, critical multiculturalism, and inclusion.
2021-2023 Awardee Status
Educators: Michael Skura, Aaron Kolkay, Dan Whipple, Jennifer Nagle | Principal: Chris Grays
Educators: Heather Stanich, Lauren Schmidt, Laura Cavanaugh, Lisa Cook | Principal: Laura Bankowski
Educators: Marty Voelker, Robyn Bican, Amy Bernard, Josh Hoering | Principal: Courtney DeMent
2020-2023 Awardee Status
Educators: Jack Clifford, Jayme Banzhoff and Margaret Kuchan | Principal: Mrs. Stevens
Educators: Karen Popovich, Irene LaPapa, Karly Olson, Katie Novorolsky, Ashley Kasher, and Don Devany | Principal: Dr. Echols
Educators: Josh Casburn, Jennifer Carpenter, Jennifer Melendez, Andrea Schindlbeck, Kathleen Tieri-Ton, Andrea Schindlbeck, and Dawn Zalkus | Principal: Dr. Smith
About the Application Process
The IAEA accepts applications for recognition as a School of Distinction annually between January 1st and June 30th. Applications are reviewed in July with notifications sent out in August. For questions about the Schools of Distinction program or this application process, please contact [email protected]
The 2022 application Process is now open! The deadline to apply is June 30th.