Elizabeth M. Eppes, Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator K-12, DeKalb County Schools
Elizabeth M. Eppes is an artist, administrator and ardent advocate for quality instruction in the arts. A former teacher at Avondale Elementary Performing Arts Magnet and Druid Hills High School, she has served as the Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator for DeKalb County Schools for the past five years. During her tenure, she has made equity, access and inclusion high priorities for the district. Today there is an art teacher in every school in DeKalb County. Teachers are involved in the development of their curriculum and have a sense of ownership, and the arts coordinator works in tandem with the design and construction office to ensure optimal facilities for arts instruction. Under her leadership, DeKalb is partnering with Georgia Tech on a 5-year science and arts integration project. Ms. Eppes is an active board member of the Georgia Art Education Association and is working to develop career pathways for fine arts as a member of the Georgia Department of Education’s Arts Pathway Committee.
General EducatorCourtney Savage
, Learning Specialist, Starr's Mill High School, Fayette County Schools
Courtney Savage is a Learning Specialist at Starr’s Mill High School in Fayetteville where she teaches students with disabilities (ranging from Down’s syndrome to cerebral palsy) in the Community Based Vocational Instruction program. Ms. Savage has devoted herself to developing opportunities for her students to develop their creative abilities. With a music teacher colleague, she established a special program to integrate music with the special education curriculum and provide performance opportunities for special needs students. To date, thirty self-contained special education students have received music therapy instruction and showcased their talents in more than ten performances before 3000 concert attendees. Their collaboration will be the subject of a session at the Georgia Music Educators Association’s annual conference in 2013. Trained in classical and modern dance, Ms. Savage coached the Starr’s Mill High School dance team to a state title in 2009 and was recognized as a 2011 Shuler Hensley Award nominee for choreography. She is a member of the Council for Exceptional Children and a certified therapeutic listening practitioner.
Everett Cannady, Band Director, Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School, Richmond County Schools
Everett Cannady is the band director at Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School in Augusta where he has taught for eight years. Under his leadership, the band has almost doubled in size, now numbering 100 players. With a passion for imparting knowledge and offering wisdom, he teaches six traditional band classes for students in grades 6-12 each day, offers daily Jazz Combo and Ethnic Drums classes to incorporate non-traditional music into his program, and conducts afterschool programs, including Brass Ensemble, Flute Choir, Clarinet Choir and Jazz Band. He routinely collaborates with the school’s dance and drama departments to contribute to their performances and incorporates vocalists and keyboard players from other departments to give the Jazz Band an added dimension. Each year, approximately 30 of his players make District Honor Band and five make All State Band/Jazz Band. In 2009, Davidson’s Symphonic Band played at Lincoln Center and, in 2010, the Brass Ensemble played the national anthem for the Harlem Globetrotters. Mr. Cannady was recognized for his accomplishments and lifelong impact on students’ lives with the 2010 Golden Apple Award.
Pam Ware, Teacher and Director of Theatre, Gainesville High School, Gainesville City Schools
Pam Ware is in her 28th year at Gainesville High School where she teaches drama, musical theatre and acting. A devoted and passionate teacher, she is also highly regarded as a regional, state and national arts in education leader. Ms. Ware has more than 400 productions to her credit and her students have won eight state championships in One Act Competition and nineteen first place regional awards. They have also presented five mainstage performances at the International Thespian Conference and performed twice at the Fringe Festival in Scotland. Her long career is studded with accolades: Southern Speech Association Teacher of the Year, President of the International Thespian Society, Education Theater Association Hall of Fame and Milliken Family Foundation National Educator Award. She also created the Pam Ware Theater with the Gainesville Parks and Recreation Department and, since 1974, has directed a full-length summer production featuring local performers of all ages.
Visual Arts EducatorAimee Burgamy
, Visual Arts Specialist, Trickum Middle School, Gwinnett County Public Schools