San Bruno Park School District and Capuchino High School Receive National Recognition for Music Education

National Best Communities for Music Education 2018 Awards have been announced by the NAMM Foundation and they focus attention on San Bruno public schools! The Awards honor outstanding achievement in efforts across the country to provide music access and education to all students. 

San Bruno Park School District is one of only 16 districts in the State and the only one in the Bay area to receive the Award. Capuchino High School (San Mateo Union High School District), is one of only 27 schools in California and the only one in Northern California to be recognized. 

“Research clearly tells us that music has profound benefits on students. The District is proud to share this national recognition with SBCF, SBEF and CHSAA without whose support of music as integral to community building, we would lack the renaissance of music education in San Bruno that we are experiencing”, commented SBPSD Superintendent Dr. Stella Kemp.

Both awards recognize the unique partnership that has developed over the past year between San Bruno Community Foundation (SBCF), San Bruno Education Foundation (SBEF), San Bruno Park School District (SBPSD) and Capuchino High School Alumni Association (CHSAA). A recent Music Education Initiative grant in the amount of $495,000 from the Community Foundation to the Education Foundation and the Alumni Association has resulted in music education now offered to every elementary student in SBPSD (through Music for Minors), funding to enhance the remarkable music program at Parkside with new instruments and other essentials (Ciana Whitfield and Elyse Mahfouz, music directors), and funding to purchase new uniforms for Capuchino’s marching band (Scott Souza, music director). With a grant from the Welch Family Foundation, the Education Foundation is also funding music for pre-school students in the District.

“When students learn music together, they learn the spirit of team work, discipline, self-discovery and mutual support. Capuchino is grateful for this recognition which validates the significance of community partnerships as essential to promoting music education in San Bruno”, shared Capuchino Principal Shamar Shanks.

Capuchino has a proud music tradition including playing at the inauguration of President Kennedy – a tradition that lapsed over time due to budget cuts, but has been revived with the hiring of Mr. Souza. At Parkside, nearly half the student body is enrolled in instrumental music, led by Ms. Whitfield and Ms. Mahfouz, resulting in accomplished musicians moving from Parkside to Capuchino to infuse the high school program with considerable talent. Under the leadership of these three music directors, students are sweeping awards at competitions. Likewise, the Music for Minors program for elementary students in SBPSD is inspiring students at a young age to discover the rewards and self confidence that come from being engaged with the art of music.

The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its approximately 10,300 members around the world. The foundation advances active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving, and public service programs

In offering his congratulations, SBEF Vice President Dr. Bryan Vander Lugt commented, “These Awards recognize that San Bruno Park School District and Capuchino High School are leading the way with learning opportunities in music as important elements of a well-rounded education for all children. The SBCF Music Education Strategic Grant is fostering a network of community partnerships to support and sustain these transformative programs.  It provides us an opportunity to build upon this foundation in order to holistically elevate educational opportunities and enable our students to realize their full potential.  The Grant is truly an investment in the future of San Bruno and the NAMM Awards signal that we are on the right path on behalf of youth enrolled in San Bruno public schools”.


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