Having now completed my first year as Director of Toledo School for the Arts, it has been inspiring to witness firsthand the type of impact this school has on our students, families, graduates and community. Recently, I had the opportunity to meet with a group of current high school students, all prospective teachers, who were visiting TSA for the first time. After spending the bulk of the day observing classes and touring the building, they were simply astounded with the environment and culture they witnessed. They loved the energy of the teachers, the way students interacted with each other, and the breadth and variety of our course offerings. It is important we don’t take for granted what this school means for so many and how our mission is driving news ways to educate.
TSA continues to grow and evolve while staying true to the principals the school was founded on. We have more students than ever before who are participating in College Credit Plus, earning 162 credit hours this past year. We also recently celebrated the first perfect ACT score in school history- an incredible accomplishment! Student academic groups such as Quiz Bowl and Power of the Pen have quickly established themselves as among the best in the state and our graduation rate sits at an impressive 99%. Our students have been accepted into prestigious colleges and universities across the country- arts integrated education is indeed alive and well in Northwest Ohio and we see the significant impact this has every day.
Excellence in the arts also remains a staple of what defines TSA. This past year provided yet more evidence of the amazing talent our faculty work with on a daily basis. In order to provide a snapshot, the following occurred during a single exhaustive and exhilarating week this past February-
- We had three students earn an invitation to perform at Carnegie Hall as part of a nation-wide competition.
- Several of our music theatre students participated in a production of iLLA! A hip hop musical TSA was selected to workshop and perform as the show was being developed for Broadway.
- Maya Ramirez, current TSA 10th grade student, took home first place in the reality show competition Project Runway: Junior.
These examples only further illustrate the potential our students have when exposed to an environment that encourages the development of creative and critical thought. As a result, our graduates are spread throughout the globe and have created a footprint across a variety of professional fields.
We continue to attract students from a variety of school districts, ranging from 25-27 in any given year. This has allowed for increased diversity and a platform by which our students make lifelong friendships and connections. Thanks to the efforts of our Board of Directors, gracious donors, community partners, and our sponsor Bowling Green State University, our diverse student body has access to resources and opportunities that will better prepare them to be true global citizens.
Amazing happens every day at TSA. I invite you to join us on our journey.