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BCS Arts Specialist Chosen for National Honor
BCS Arts Specialist Chosen for National Honor
Posted on 04/08/2020
Ms. Laura Mitchell works to grow BCS arts program through collaboration and leadership.(Featured Photo: Laura Mitchell stands outside the Biltmore home to support a T.C. Roberson High choral performance in Dec. 2019.)

By: Benjamin Rickert, BCS Communications


Thriving fine arts programs are grown through collaboration and leadership. When 25 art education leaders from across the country were chosen by the National Art Education Association (NAEA) to attend their School for Art Leaders (SAL) last year, one familiar face joined them from Buncombe County Schools. Arts integration specialist Ms. Laura Mitchell took full advantage of the opportunity to collaborate with successful art leaders and find ways to bring that knowledge to local public schools.

Laura Mitchell holds two awards from the NAEA.“I am continually excited to bring these gifts to the work I do in Buncombe County Schools to continue to support the amazing arts programs across our district,” said Mitchell. “The experience of being a part of the School for Art Leaders was life-changing, as it not only gave me skills to be a stronger leader, but helped me to better understand myself and others.”

The program inspired Ms. Mitchell to form a BCS Arts Advisory Council this school year that encourages input and ideas from students, parents, arts community leaders, teachers, and principals.

“The goal is to strengthen the community we have in the arts and to share resources, so we can diversify and broaden the arts opportunities available to our students,” she said.

Ms. Mitchell works throughout the year to support teachers and expand arts programs in Buncombe County. She is a National Board Certified Teacher and also serves on the executive board of the North Carolina Art Education Association, helping connect teachers across the state and country, and ensuring that local students benefit from the latest research and art education curriculum.

Upon graduation from the SAL program last July, Mitchell received a professional achievement award from the NAEA. She was scheduled to travel to the national conference in Minneapolis in March, but the COVID-19 pandemic unfortunately caused the conference to be cancelled. Nonetheless, her awards were received via mail and the SAL graduates now plan to convene in Chicago in 2021.

"It's about working together to bring the best to our students," Mitchell added.

Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin, shanon.martin@bcsemail.org, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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