Killeen ISD Named Top Visual Arts Education District

Killeen ISD is a Texas Art Education Association District of Distinction, placing it in the top 5 percent of the state for high-quality visual art education.
Out of more than 1,200 districts eligible to apply for the TAEA Visual Arts Award, just 68 will receive it for the just-completed 2022-2023 school year.
KISD Fine Arts Director Karen Herrera praised the work of visual art teachers and Assistant Fine Arts Director of Visual Art and Theater Morganne Davies for establishing and maintaining excellence in visual art education.
“We are extremely proud of how hard our teachers have worked to provide a well-rounded and robust visual art program,” Davies said. “It is an honor to be recognized state-wide for their dedication and our student’s achievements.”
Killeen ISD met the high standard based on engaging students in visual art field experiences, community service, and collaboration with other content areas.
The district is set to receive the award at the TAEA fall conference on November 17.
According to TAEA, districts that receive the fine arts distinction provide “a well-rounded education that advocates and integrates visual arts curriculum to inspire creativity and build social-emotional learning and connect learners to their community and beyond.”
This is the first time KISD has earned the visual art honor. The district has been named Best Community for Music Education for the past two years.
In the past school year, about 5,100 students participated in art programs in KISD.
A total of 252 participated in the high school Visual Art Scholastic Event, 193 in the Junior VASE for middle school, and five in an elementary version called TEAM.
The competitive, adjudicated process resulted in 21 high school VASE state qualifiers and 10 receiving All-State Artist status. There were 15 Junior VASE Platinum medalists and three elementary TEAM gold winners.

Other KISD visual art program highlights include:

  • Seven middle and high school students were selected for inclusion in the state-wide art exhibit at TASA/TASB TexEdCon 2022 sponsored by the Texas Art Education Association
  • Two high school students were selected to exhibit in the Youth Art Month Statewide Capitol Exhibit at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum
  • A Killeen High art student was awarded second place in the 11th Congressional District U.S. Congressional Art Competition.
  • A Rancier Middle School student won the regional Lions Club Art Contest and advanced to the state competition.
  • A Killeen High art student won the Award of Excellence at the Central Texas Art Contest at Temple College.
  • Killeen ISD hosted 12 Big Art Day events promoting the visual arts on their campuses, including four elementary participants for the first time.
  • The 20th Annual District Art Exhibition featured 2,500 student artworks and welcomed over 1,500 visitors. Several elementary art clubs exhibited for the first time as well as high school theatrical design works.
  • District art clubs participated in 115 hours of community service projects.
  • Field experiences connected students to college and careers through guest artist workshops, museum field trips, and college-focused events.
  • Visual art teachers collaborated with colleagues to enrich the arts experiences for all students including Gifted and Talented, Functional Academics, Yearbook,
  • Library Services, Dyslexia, and Advanced Placement European History.