Gates Chili Central School District Superintendent Kimberle Ward recently was recognized with the Star of Touring Broadway Award at the annual Broadway League Awards in New York City.
First presented in 1992, the Broadway League Awards recognize the contributions of those who have displayed exemplary service to the Broadway industry and are considered innovators of their craft.
The Star of Touring Broadway Award was created to honor board members, government officials, donors and volunteers who have given support to promote and enrich the Broadway Series in their hometowns.
Rochester Broadway Theatre League members presented the award to Ward during a presentation.
“I am honored and humbled by this recognition,” Ward said. “Today, educators have the opportunity to break down the traditional approach to teaching and learning by thinking outside of the box and trying new strategies to engage, enhance and empower each learner through the arts. I’m thankful that our administrative team and our board of education could see my vision for what I believe will be a national model for arts integration.”
Ward and GCCSD made an effort to reinvest in arts education for the 2016-17 school year through a new partnership with RBTL and a new program — Arts Reaching and Teaching in Schools Partners. The goal of the ARTS Partners program is to ensure that every child in the district has the opportunity to experience the power of arts education with specific focus on touring Broadway.
“It is wonderful when educators like Kimberle embrace the value of arts education in our schools,” said Albert Nocciolino, RBTL partner/presenter and BL board of governors member. “It is incredibly rewarding to see young people be inspired by and experience a live performance.”
Ward committed financial resources toward the program to support her students and their families. Majority of students in the district received classroom instruction through RBTL, and throughout the year GCCSD sent 4,000 students to RBTL’s touring Broadway productions.
This partnership will continue in the 2017-18 school year.
“We are thrilled that Kimberle’s unique efforts have been recognized in the national spotlight,” said Linda Glosser, RBTL executive vice president. “The first year of our new partnership and program with Gates Chili was a huge success, and we look forward to continued collaboration and growth in the coming years.”