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Thirty-seven Scottsdale Unified School District seniors are among the first 585 Class of 2020 members from 58 schools to earn the new State Seal of Arts Proficiency. 

The state Department of Education awarded the new seal to four Arcadia High seniors, four from Chaparral, 16 attended Desert Mountain High seniors and 13 from Saguaro High.

“The arts are essential components of a complex and well-rounded education,” said Scottsdale Unified Superintendent Dr. John Kriekard in a prepared statement. 

“These excelling students have shown a passion for the art of their choice, be it dance, music, theater or visual, and, for some of them, a combination of these pursuits. They exemplify what it means to commit to an endeavor, to dedicate themselves to learn more and to improve their craft,” Kriekard continued.

The seal, established last year by the Legislature, recognizes graduates’’ high levels of achievement in meeting Arizona Arts Education Standards. 

The recipients graduated with a 3.0 or better GPA in four or more credits of qualifying arts courses.

Statewide, the recipients completed a combined total of more than 17,550 hours of arts extracurricular activities and finished a student-led capstone project demonstrating their artistic learning.

“We are incredibly proud of the creativity and dedication of the inaugural cohort of young artists who overcame immense challenges to receive this rigorous honor. We can’t wait to see where their creative skills take them in life,” said Director of Arts Education Dustin Loehr and Arts Education Specialist Haley Honeman in a joint statement.

The seals are awarded for achievements in dance, media arts, theater arts, visual arts and music and the most, 297, were earned in music.

“To see those qualities in someone of this age is truly extraordinary,” Kriekard said. “We could not be more proud of these first-ever SUSD recipients of the new state Arts Seal. And we are equally proud of and thankful to their district teachers, who, over each of these students’ high school years, have helped develop and hone their talents to amazing levels.”

Scottsdale recipients include: 

Arcadia High: Lainey Durchslag (band/film), Toni Stark (theater/visual art), Oriana Valcamp (theater) and Jamie Villarreal (theater/visual art) 

Chaparral: Ayda Bayati (band/choir/theater), Cole Carney (band/theater), Alexis Goldschmidt (choir/band/theater) and Sarah Wolin (visual art).

Desert Mountain: Nikita Anand (choir), Kaitlyn Antioco (choir), Elisabelle Bizon (theater), Trinity Chin (visual art), Lauren Dresler (band/visual art), Trevor Enault (theater), Mikayla Glancy (theater), Eleni Katergaris (band), Rebecca Laakso (visual art), Brittany Matthews (theater), Lauren Oh (dance/theater), Mia Person (dance), Lauren Reilly (theater), Cara Richman (theater), Kamryn Smith (dance/theater) and Macie Wilson (theater).

Saguaro:  Chloe Colbert (band), Lauryn Davis (choir), Acacia Dustman Wastchak (band), Matthew Gross (theater/choir), Jeffrey Harrison (orchestra), Ethan Hughes (visual arts), Daniel Hutton (orchestra), Aidan Jacobson (orchestra), Anna Jakubczyk (orchestra), Alexis McNally (theater), Violet Rowland (dance), Sydney Steinmetz (band), and Alessandra Velarde (choir).