For Art’s Sake: Members Honored at Education Update Soiree

The Arts dominated the annual Education Update Distinguished leaders in Education Awards ceremony Friday at the Harvard Club in Manhattan, where several New York City teachers and principals were feted for their work.

CSA President Ernest Logan delivered a short, impassioned speech about the importance of arts education in the lives of students and culture as a whole.

Citing the vibrant chorus of children from PS 22 in Staten Island, which belted out tune after tune in the large oak paneled banquet hall, Mr. Logan said public education is alive and well.

"Just listen to those young voices," he said. "That's our future."

Principals honored as outstanding educators of the year were Donna Finn of the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts High School, Frank Giordano of New Voices School of Academic Creative Arts, Kathryn Malloy of Mott Hall Bronx High School, Lisa Mars of Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School, Dahlia McGregor of Science Skills Center High School for Science, Technology and the Creative Arts, Veronica Najjar of PS 89, Dyanand Sugrim of The Heritage School, Santiago Tavares of DeWitt Clinton, Judith Ranft of PS 315 and Louis Bruschi of PS 78.

Ms. Mars received a loud ovation when she said that arts education is "not a luxury -- it's a necessity. Every child must have access to quality arts education. If your child's school doesn't provide that, you need to ask why."

Others honored at the ceremony were CUNY Chancellor James B. Milliken, Russel Granet, executive vice president of Lincoln Center Education, David Liebman, founder and artistic director of of the International Association of Schools of Jazz, and Maritza B. Macdonald, Senior director of education and policy at the American Museum of Natural History.

Several teachers were also honored for their work in furthering financial literacy.