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Grammy-winner Partners with Fine Arts Program

Grammy-winning music educator and founder of Sound180 Educators, Mickey Smith, Jr., will be sharing his wisdom with fine arts students and staff. Smith will be working with the District by speaking to departments and campuses, mentoring teachers and providing one-on-one support to staff, such as first-year band directors.

“We really wanted to start this partnership to give our fine arts teachers the chance to expand their skill sets and maximize our current resources,” said Director of Fine Arts, Ray Lavan. “We have a very strong staff and curriculum and this just bolsters it and adds another tool to their toolbox.”

Along with in-person support, much of the content that Smith provides is digital, including a YouTube channel and Facebook group for fine arts educators.

“He currently is a working band director alongside his work with universities and schools, so he is navigating COVID-19 along with the rest of us and he can share the things that are working for him,” said Lavan. “These online resources go along with the current health crisis.”

Smith has served in education over 20 years in roles ranging from elementary to college-level. 

“My work in the classroom has given me the opportunity to teach other educators how to teach uplifting and have a heightened education in their classrooms,” said Smith. “I feel like my mission is to share some of the best practices that have allowed me to stand on platforms and give this ability to other teachers.”

Lavan said this program will ultimately allow students to become more well-rounded individuals and help them succeed in their academic core areas.

“The main thing is that we are giving our students in BISD the absolute best opportunity to succeed,” said Lavan. “We can further allow ourselves to rise to the challenge of COVID-19 and provide the best possible level of instruction and educational experience for each of our students.”