Chaparral, South Pointe music programs receive national recognition
By Kelli Gile
DIAMOND BAR— Two Walnut Valley Unified School District (WVUSD) middle schools – Chaparral and South Pointe – have been honored with the SupportMusic Merit Award from the nonprofit NAAM Foundation for outstanding commitment to music education.
A total of 118 schools across the country recognized with the prestigious award in 2016.
“This award puts Chaparral and South Pointe on an exclusive list that receives national attention – and that is something to celebrate!” said Chaparral band director Leslie Schroerlucke.
The SupportMusic designation is awarded to individual schools that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students.
The award recognizes schools that are leading the way with learning opportunities as outlined in the new federal education legislation, Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), that recommends music and the arts as important elements of a well-rounded education for all children.
Congratulations to Chaparral music teachers Greg Rochford-orchestra, Leslie Schroerlucke-band, Rich Langham-choir, South Pointe music teachers Susan Willmering- band, and Robin Wadsworth-choir.
“It is such an honor to be recognized for the second consecutive year by NAMM. It is fantastic to know that Chaparral is seen in such high regard,” said Principal Ron Thibodeaux.
“Our music programs are essential to our students and their families,” Schroerlucke added. “The NAMM award reaffirms once again that music programs in WVUSD are exemplary in terms of the number of students in our programs, the quality of the programs, and parent support.”
At South Pointe, over 500 students participate in music arts classes. Choir teacher Robin Wadsworth, who works with about 150 students in her classes, is passionate about the benefits of music education.
“There have been many scientific studies that show that music helps creativity, coordination, reasoning skills, and improving test scores,” she said.
Wadsworth also sites another benefit of being a part of music groups.
“Music performing groups give kids a place to belong. Playing, singing, or just listening to music relieves stress and gives groups of students that perform together a common purpose.”
Her students agreed. “Music makes me happy. When I’m sad, I sing!” said 6th grader Shannon Kelly.
“Music helps me express my feelings,” added 7th grader Maxine Magpayo.
“We are fortunate to have remarkable teachers and a district that understands the importance of the arts in education,” said South Pointe’s Principal, Susan Arzola.