Home Carrollton Carroll County Schools again honored for music education

Carroll County Schools again honored for music education

Carroll County Schools has twice been honored by the NAMM Foundation as a Best Community for Music Education. The Villa Rica High School Symphonic Band was chosen to perform at this year’s Georgia Music Educators Association Winter Conference in Athens — just one of the notable accolades district ensembles have received this year. 

For the second consecutive year, Carroll County Schools has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from the NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. 

Now in its 25th year, the Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in providing music access and education to all students. 

To qualify for the Best Communities designation, Carroll County Schools answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and community music-making programs. Responses were verified by school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

“We are extremely proud of our work to expand access to music education and to enhance the quality of instruction and the prestige of performance opportunities available to students of all ages,” Superintendent Scott Cowart said. “Being recognized by NAMM for the second year in a row is great validation that this effort is bearing fruit, but the greatest reward is seeing the success of our students and their wonderful accomplishments locally, throughout the state and beyond.”

As part of a long-term commitment from the Carroll County Board of Education, eight elementary school music teachers have been hired in the last two years to provide all 12 elementary schools in the county with full-time music teachers. A full-time high school chorus position also has been added so that all five high schools now offer chorus as well as band. 

“At Carroll County Schools, we know that students need opportunities to excel in a variety of areas, and our school board has supported a significant investment in fine arts programs over the last several years,” Cowart said. “Our students are the real beneficiaries of this investment.”

The district created a Fine Arts Coordinator position two years ago to provide district support and vertical alignment to music, arts and theater programs across the county’s 23 elementary, middle and high schools. 

“I am so proud that our board of education has seen the value of our fine arts programs and continued to provide resources to support them,” Fine Arts Coordinator Neil Ruby said. “Our teachers are doing amazing work to make sure more students have access to these resources and opportunities.”

The Carroll County Schools Performing Arts Center is the crown jewel of district fine arts support. Completed in 2017, the PAC features an acoustically calibrated 1,100-seat music hall that is utilized for performance by all county schools. It’s also become a favorite performance venue for groups from the University of West Georgia, the Carroll Symphony Orchestra and others.

“Our venue has become known as the premier concert hall in West Georgia,” Performing Arts Center Director Charity Aaron said. “Beyond the hundreds of district events each year, we host Georgia Music Educators Association events for band and chorus, and we collaborate with a number of community partners to offer fine arts field trips that provide art, music, theater and cultural experiences to our students of all ages.”

The district offers the Fine Arts Diploma Seal through the Georgia Department of Education to graduating seniors who complete a fine arts pathway and engage in creative industry focus courses, extracurricular activities, and experiences that foster Fine Arts mastery. Eighty-one 2024 graduates will receive the seal this year.

About Carroll County Schools
Carroll County Schools provides a premier educational environment to over 16,000 students spread across 23 schools and two career academies. Carroll County Schools has graduated over 90 percent of students over the last five years and has been voted one of Metro Atlanta’s best places to work four consecutive years. Carroll County Schools is committed to changing lives. Students are challenged with a future-focused curriculum where they are empowered to graduate ready to be enrolled, enlisted or employed, and engaged in their community. For more information, please visit www.carrollcountyschools.com.  

About the NAMM Foundation
The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its 15,000 member companies and individual professionals. The foundation advances active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving, and public service programs. For more information about The NAMM Foundation, please visit www.nammfoundation.org.