VAPA Spotlight Awards Winners Announced for 2020

The Visual and Performing Arts Department (VAPA) of the San Diego Unified School District is pleased to announce the winners of the 2020 VAPA Spotlight Awards. The VAPA Spotlight Awards celebrate Transforming Lives Through the Arts across the district. These awards highlight outcomes that are aligned with the goals of VAPA’s strategic plan, adopted by the Board of Education in 2016.

Awardees will be recognized at the 2020 VAPA Spotlight Awards Presentation on Wednesday, March 25 from 6:30 – 8:00 pm in the Shiley Special Events Suite of the San Diego Central Library located at 330 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101. This year’s event will be held in conjunction with Arts Empower San Diego’s Ovation Awards.

The VAPA Foundation is sponsoring $250 scholarships for the seven student award recipients. Awardees are nominated by district VAPA stakeholders including teachers, parents, community arts partners, administrators, and students. Winners are selected by a committee that represents classroom teachers, VAPA leaders, the VAPA Advisory Council, and the VAPA Foundation.

This year’s VAPA Spotlight Award winners are:

Artistic Achievement Award

  • Connor Gilbert, Student, Mission Bay High School

Artistic Growth Award

  • Evan Bonahoom Jr., Student, Bell Middle School
  • Arwen Meeks, Student, Junipero Serra High School
  • Liam Schoel, Student, Junipero Serra High School

Artistic Innovation Award

  • Don Masse, Teacher, Zamorano Fine Arts Academy
  • Reyna Turner, Teacher, Loma Portal Elementary School

Creative Community Engagement Award

  • AB Ochoa, Student, Knox MIddle School
  • Melissa Roy-Wood, Principal, Franklin Elementary School
  • Honseng Tu, Teacher, Bell Middle School
  • Classics 4 Kids, Community Arts Organization
  • Outside the Lens, Community Arts Organization
  • La Jolla Playhouse, Community Arts Organization

Creative Leadership Award

  • Ben Champion, Teacher, Crown Point Junior Music Academy
  • Noah Lares, Student, Junipero Serra High School
  • Claudia Poquoc, School Volunteer, Carver Elementary School

Rising Star Award

  • Melissa Magana, Teacher, VAPA Elementary Music
  • April Martinez, Student, East Village Middle College High School

For more information about these awards, contact Russ Sperling, VAPA Director at or Tim Benson, VAPA Program Manager at

Source, San Diego Unified School District; Original article posted here >>

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