Return to Headlines

Principal of Angel Oak earns honor from Palmetto State Arts Education

Angel Oak Elementary School’s principal, Judith Condon, made a decision to invest in the arts when she arrived at the school in 2017. That investment led to a range of opportunities for the students, and eventually, recognition for the school at the state level. Condon is the 2021 Palmetto State Arts Education (PSAE) Arts Administrator of the Year Award.

The honor goes to administrators who demonstrate a commitment to arts programs, make a difference in the lives of South Carolina's school students, and uphold the mission of the PSAE to advance learning in and through the arts for all students.

"I am honored to receive this recognition,” explained Condon. “Our arts-integrated model at Angel Oak continues to be a driving force that supports overall school improvement, student engagement, and achievement. This award also recognizes the hard work of the teachers, staff, students, and families at our school as they work to think differently about curriculum, instruction, and assessment in order to serve this new generation of learners".

Condon was honored at the PSAE Conference in Columbia earlier this month and was recognized by the Charleston County School District’s Board of Trustees during this week’s Board meeting.

In 2018, Angel Oak was the recipient of a federal SmART Literacy Grant (over 2.1 million dollars) with ArtsNow to support Arts Integration training for teachers, artist residencies, and arts experiences for students for a four-year period. In this final year of grant implementation, the school will host "Demonstration of Learning" Days to share effective practices and impactful academic data supporting this model. Teacher portfolios have been recognized by ArtsNow as exemplars in showcasing the implementation of the grant.

In addition to implementing an arts-integrated model with fidelity, staff at Angel Oak provide accelerated arts opportunities in dance, visual arts, music (and more) in which students can participate. Related arts teachers participate in "AI Push" blocks to work alongside and collaborate with general education teachers to integrate learning. The school has built an impressive strings (orchestra) program, a STEAM makerspace class and supports a thriving drama club. Local partnerships with organizations including Engaging Creative Minds, the College of Charleston Opera, YoArt, Charleston Jazz, the Charleston Gaillard Center, Charleston Stage and Palmetto City Ballet have helped students to recognize the power of the arts in the school and the community. The school hallways also serve as an interactive gallery space for "The Faces of Innocence" photography project in collaboration with the Besharat Gallery in Atlanta.

For more information, contact Judith Condon at (843) 559-6412.