Fine Arts teachers recognized for going above and beyond

Red carpet graphic
May 7, 2019

Northside ISD’s version of the Academy Awards comes complete with a red carpet and paparazzi shouting ‘what are you wearing’ as stars arrive in their finest evening wear and pose for pictures. The stars are the District’s Fine Arts educators and they were honored at the second annual Standing Ovations awards ceremony.

“During the school year, we become so driven to bring quality to every aspect of the campus and community culture that it is often difficult to carve out time to celebrate our work and our students’ efforts,” said James Miculka, Director of Fine Arts programs.

“Standing Ovations is our way to celebrate your hard work and great successes. You inspire us and we salute you.”

High School Dance Instructors pose on the red carpet with Assistant Director of Fine Arts Elizabeth Sanchez- Lopez (center). 

Teachers were asked to nominate colleagues who they believe epitomize quality work in visual and performing arts disciplines. The nominees were notified and asked to complete an application. A panel of judges reviewed the instructor nomination forms and selected those who were to receive a Standing Ovation award.

Below is a list of those who received awards:

Above and Beyond Elementary Art – Cruz Ramirez, Mead ES

Above and Beyond Elementary Music – Mary Ellen Fimbel, Villarreal ES

Above and Beyond Middle School Art – John Davis, Bernal MS

Above and Beyond Middle School Band – Heather McGowan, Ross MS

Above and Beyond Middle School Choir – Carly Marshall, Connally MS

Above and Beyond Middle School Dance – Kirsten Burandt, Jordan MS

Above and Beyond Middle School Orchestra – Chris DeArmond, Pease MS

Above and Beyond Middle School Theatre – Jeannie DeLeon, Connally MS

Above and Beyond High School Art – Jill Keith, O’Connor HS

Above and Beyond High School Band – Dr. Andrew Tucker, Harlan HS

Above and Beyond High School Choir – Amber Shodrok, Brennan HS

Above and Beyond High School Dance– Angela Pina, Warren HS

Above and Beyond High School Orchestra – Daniel Shiu, Harlan HS

Above and Beyond High School Theatre – Amanda Pyle, Taft HS

Rising Star Secondary – Carlos Gonzalez, Orchestra, Briscoe MS

Transformational Treasures – Jennifer Eskew, Forester ES

Bravo Award – Mark Bishop, NISD Warehouse Manager

Lifetime Achievement – Teresa Nguyen, Orchestra, Clark HS

Stellar Success Elementary – Lewis ES Art, Lila Owens

Stellar Success Middle School – Jefferson MS Band, Virginia Calderon, Angela Dominguez, and Taylor Hussey

Stellar Success High School – Brandeis HS Dance, Jackie Aguirre

There were also several performances during the evening including the Clark High School Jazz Band, Brennan High School Modern Dance Company, “Men of the North” middle and high school choir directors, Brennan High School Bearly Scripted Theatre Troupe, and the Jay High School Rockn’ Stringz.

The Jay HS Rockn' Stringz wowed the crowd with their 80s-themed performance. 

New this year, the Transformational Treasures Award recognized the efforts of a visual arts teacher in upcycling a neglected junk item and elevating it to a work of art. The art was auctioned at the Los Leones Arts Festival and a panel of judges evaluated the transformations and determined an award winner – Forester Elementary School teacher Jennifer Eskew.

NISD Warehouse Manager Mark Bishop received the 2019 Bravo Award for being a friend of Fine Arts. “He understands how to work with the multitude of eccentric personalities that find their way into Fine Arts,” Miculka said. “He manages to provide us crews, trucks, trailers, and hauls our equipment literally all over the state of Texas. He never says ‘no’ and is always smiling and positive.”

Fine Arts Director James Miculka congratulates Bravo Award Winner Mark Bishop. 

Visit the Northside Facebook page for an album of pictures from the ceremony.