Guest Blog by: Timothy Craig
Director of Fine & Performing Arts and Business Education
Bayonne Public Schools
2016 Recipient of the NJPSA’s Visionary Supervisor of the Year award
My procrastination prevented me from working on this blog sooner. I wanted desperately to be profound, witty, insightful and worthy of the award I was so generously given this year. The truth is I do not think that I can be any of that. Simply put – I am an educator who loves education and will continue to devote my life to making the lives of students better. It is my hope that by promoting arts and business education that the Bayonne public school district will graduate better human beings who are prepared to meet the challenges of their colleges, careers, and ultimately to become the citizens we all want them to be.
Though the road is not always easy as we strive for relevance, funding, and support in an age of standardized testing, statistics, and data driven decisions, arts educators and supporters of arts education know that the fight is always worth fighting. When curricular classroom time for the arts is limited, we have looked for creative solutions to fill the void for our students – and our district now offers multiple extra curricular and Saturday programs in music, theater, and dance. These programs are accessible and affordable for all of the students in the city of Bayonne, and they are an important piece of our department goal to bring instruction in music, visual art, theater and dance to all students in grades Pre-K through 12.
The success of our curricular and extracurricular programs lies only in part with me, but mostly with the hard working, passionate and dedicated educators who teach these courses. I can truly say that the staff of the Fine & Performing Arts Department in Bayonne works tirelessly, giving so much of their talents and time to develop these programs. Like me, my staff recognizes the long lasting positive impact arts education will have on their students, and it is an honor to work alongside such talented educators towards our collective vision for arts education in Bayonne.
I am not suggesting that Bayonne will turn out hundreds of Picassos, Baryshnikovs or DeNiros, but I can say with confidence that we will educate human beings that will go out into the world prepared to use the immense power of the arts to bring people together, calling on the things that connect us rather than those that divide us.
I believe education is the most important element necessary to eliminate poverty, improve the health and sciences, and continue to build, discover and create. I believe the arts can surpass divisions in language, culture, theology and politics. To that end, I will passionately continue to fight for arts programs and support educators and education worldwide.