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Ken-Ton Recognizes Student Artists, Art Teachers & BOE

The Ken-Ton School District celebrated the talents of nine student artists and their art teachers at a special event on October 20 which also recognized the contributions of the five volunteers who serve on the Board of Education.

The annual Student Artist Reception and Board of Education Appreciation Night is held each year during School Board Recognition Week in October. The event not only recognizes the importance of art in our schools but the service of school board members as well.

Art teachers from across the district selected one student artist from each school to be recognized at this year’s reception. The students’ artwork, created during the 2019-20 school year, was framed and put on display in the Community Room at the Kenmore Middle School Building. Two of the works were also selected to be duplicated, framed, and presented to each Board of Education member as a token of gratitude for their service.

The students, the title of their work, and their art teachers were:

  • Edison Elementary School: Brynn Karan, Grade 3, “Above the Trees”; Teacher: Wendy Yiengst
  • Franklin Elementary School: Giovanni Cartone, Grade 2, “Raccoon in a Starry Night”; Teacher: Elaine Korczykowski
  • Holmes Elementary School: Joseph McMillen, Grade 2, “Landscape Inspired by Charles Burchfield”; Teacher: Diane Schaefer
  • Hoover Elementary School: Alison Williams, Grade 1, “Self-Portrait”; Teacher: Jennifer Lynch
  • Lindbergh Elementary School: Isaak Gilds, Grade 4, “Untitled”; Teacher: Lavinia Kirdani
  • Franklin Middle School: Callie Torchia, Grade 5, “Citrus Slices”; Teacher: Lisa Mihelbergel
  • Hoover Middle School: Suaad Yahya, Grade 5, “Colorful Landscaper”; Teacher: Gina McCartney
  • Kenmore East High School: Devon Cudmore, Grade 11, “The Wildfires”; Teacher: Matthew Sagurney
  • Kenmore West High School: Catherine Alverson, Grade 11, “Echo”; Teacher: Amy Veltri

The annual Student Artist Reception and Board of Education Appreciation Night coincides with New York State School Boards Association School Board Recognition Week, which is observed throughout New York State to reflect on and thank Board of Education members for their service. In Ken-Ton, the school district is governed by five dedicated trustees who volunteer their time to serve the students of the district: Board President Matthew Chimera, Board Vice President Andrew Gianni, Trustee Lesley Battaglia, Trustee Jennifer Morrow, and Trustee Dr. Thomas Reigstad.

Superintendent Sabatino Cimato introduced and recognized each individual student and art teacher as well as the five Board of Education members while also highlighting the importance of art in schools and the critical role the students’ parents and families play. President Chimera also spoke, reflecting on the impact the students’ artwork will have as they are proudly displayed in key locations throughout the district for years to come.

This year’s celebration was broken up into two different receptions, one for the elementary schools and one for the middle and high schools, to facilitate social distancing. For this reason, two works were selected to be duplicated, framed, and presented to Board of Education members. They were Giovanni Cartone’s work, entitled “Raccoon in a Starry Night,” and Devon Cudmore’s work, entitled “The Wildfires.”

The Ken-Ton School District is widely recognized as having one of the leading art education programs in the entire Western New York region. Led by approximately 20 full-time art teachers, students are exposed to a robust offering of art education programs beginning in kindergarten. This includes two comprehensive high school art career pathways, one in the Fine Arts and one in the Media Arts, as well as opportunities to earn advanced certifications and close partnerships with local art galleries and organizations. To learn more, visit