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NFM Academy For the Arts named exemplary school

By Staff | Jul 20, 2017

The Arts Schools Network Board of Directors has designated the North Fort Myers Academy For the Arts as a 2017-19 Exemplary School “in recognition of its commitment to excellence.”

The school also has been designated a 2017-20 Florida Alliance for Arts Education and Florida Department of Education “Florida Arts Achieve Model School” for providing a complete and comprehensive education that includes dance, theatre, music, and visual art to all students.

Principal Thomas Millins said that it was his predecessor, Douglas Santini, who got the ball rolling in winning awards such as these.

“With new leadership taking over, it was important to continue with the traditions we’ve had at this school and maintain a high level of academic excellence as well as in the arts,” Millins said. “It’s important to win these awards and move the school in a positive direction.”

The Exemplary School designation is presented to ASN member schools that follow the ASN Principles of Exemplary Practice in strategically evaluating the school’s purpose, operations, and educational programs.

Millins said the awards places NFMAA at a higher mark than other schools, since you have to meet certain criteria, apply for the award, submit all the information and be judged on what you do at the school.

“You have to do things and show them through documentation that you’re implementing these programs,” Millins said. “You have to meet the high expectation of these awards.”

ASN will honor NFMAA at the network’s annual conference in Minnesota on Oct. 25.

ASN is a non-profit association founded in 1981 to provide leaders in arts schools with quality resources, support, and networking opportunities. For more information, visit artsschoolsnetwork.org

NFMAA also had some good news on the local front as it improved its overall grade from a “C” to a “B” and came within one point of an “A.”

“We have not only achieved these goals for the arts, but also in academics as well. The next vision is to move to an ‘A,'” said Millins, who added the best things are still ahead for the school, much of it away from the stage.

“This is an outstanding school that presents wonderful opportunities for those interested in the arts. We are looking for more ways to implement arts into the classroom and present courses they want to get involved in,” Millins said.

The mission of NFMAA is “Arts and Academics in a safe and caring environment.” Students share their talents in the community throughout the year with performances in local professional venues and during fundraising events for local charities.