DHS Art Group Awarded "District of Distinction" by Texas Art Education Association

Duncanville ISD becomes one of 59 winners of the 2022 District of Distinction Award awarded by the Texas Art Education Association, also known as TAEA. Over 1200 districts were eligible to apply. Out of all the school districts in Texas, Duncanville was among the top 5 percent of districts to win this honor. 

Art students, teachers, board members, and ex. principal pose for picture

Wednesday, September 28, 2022, students and educators from the Duncanville ISD arts program were surprised with the news of their winning this prestigious award. Teacher and advisor Annette Valenzuela, Duncanville High School Principal Michael McDonald, and Board of Trustees members Cassandra Phillips and Janet Veracruz surprised the group of students with the news.

Annette Valenzuela speaking to students

Ms. Valenzuela let her students know their efforts caused TAEA to recognize the district. “It’s all y’all,” said Valenzuela. “We got over 450 hours of community services last school year. We do collaborations and teachers enter your artwork in competitions. Your great artwork, we must enter all the time.”

The district won the distinction for providing, according to TAEA, a well-rounded education that advocates and integrates visual arts curriculum that inspires creativity and builds social-emotional learning. TAEA believes this type of education connects students to their Duncanville community and beyond. To win this award, Duncanville’s application had to document its art education efforts that were calculated using a 14-point rubric for the 2021-2022 school year.

Principals McDonald speaking to students

During the surprise announcement, Mr. McDonald was beaming with pride at his staff of art teachers and students for winning such a significant recognition. He let Ms. Valenzuela know her leadership aid students in doing well. “In my four years here, I have got to see the work that [Valenzuela] has done here. I’ve seen the way she advocates for students and goes above and beyond.” 

“Duncanville ISD has set a high standard for visual arts advocacy, integrated visual arts curriculum, encouraged creativity, community participation and student growth,” said Sandra Newton, Chair of the Administration and Supervision Division of TAEA. “It is a true testament to your visual art educators’ skill, dedication, and flexibility that the quality of their programs continued to provide strong and comprehensive visual art educational experiences to students.”

During the TAEA Fall Conference General Assembly on November 10, when TAEA Administration & Supervision Division meets during General Session, Duncanville ISD and the other 58 winning districts will be honored.