John Weemes named 2016 Arts Leader Champion of Arts
Superintendent Dr. Bolen (right) presents John Weemes (left) with the Arts Leader Champion of the Arts Award, Weemes was named as the 2016 Award Winner through the Alaska Arts Education Consortium (AAEC).
John has long had a vision that every student in BSSD to have access to high-quality education in and through the arts. He works to boost engagement and educational achievement through the support of Visual, Industrial, Cultural, and Media Arts, overseeing three itinerant specialists, coordinating the District's bilingual/bilcultural programs, organizing and overseeing professional development opportunities in arts and culture, and working tirelessly to bring the arts to students, staff, and community members within the 15 different communities of Bering Strait School District. He he has coordinated a number of arts events that include students, community members, and teachers, celebrating local art and culture, such as the Cultural Fair for Educators, Art & Culture Expo, and the Unalakleet Dance Initiative. He is also dedicated to preserving local arts traditions through teacher training, curriculum development, and educational opportunities- organizing and hosting the bi-annual BREAL Paraprofessional Training (Bilingual Education, Resource Development, Education Outreach, Advocacy Strategies, Leadership Capacity), creating Culture Kits about the Kuspuk, Atikluk-Harpoon, and Traditional Nutrition, and coordinating the building of qayaqs, drums, harpoons, and paddles in each school. John’s passion and dedication to celebrating arts and culture make him a deserving recipient of the Champion of the Arts award.
The AAEC is please to recognize individuals and organizations from across the state who champion the arts in education. AAEC believes these Champions carry the torch for arts education through high-caliber instruction, arts support, and ongoing arts promotion.
This award is a celebratory action, aimed at highlighting the positive impact of the arts on the lives of our children and youth. The efforts of these champions in teaching and supporting arts across the curriculum reflect the mission of AAEC, which is “to promote learning in and through the arts for all Alaska students.” Each Champion was nominated by Alaskans who—like the AAEC—believe in the work of these Champions of the Arts to positively impact the lives of students and communities through arts in education. Complete information about the 2016 AAEC Champions of the Art is available on the AAEC website at http://akartsed.org/