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Art-education group names Booker High's Shelley principal of the year

Florida Art Education Association honors educator for her support in arts in education.

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  • | 3:06 p.m. September 12, 2019
  • Sarasota
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For her support of arts in education, Rachel Shelley, principal of Booker High School, was named the Florida Art Education Association 2019 Principal of the Year. 

The Florida Art Education Association was founded in 1952 with the mission of promoting art education in Florida by providing teachers with knowledge, skills and support. 

Shelley became principal of Booker High in 2011, where she oversees the school's Visual & Performing Arts (VPA) program. During her tenure, students within the VPA have won various awards such as the state title of Best Production at the Florida Theatre Conference, and the film and animation department produced its first professional documentary. Additionally, the school was ranked as the 11th best school for the arts in Florida by

Shelley also ensured Booker students outside the VPA take classes in the arts, even adding an additional teacher to the visual arts staff. Students have the opportunity to take classes in design, filmmaking, dance and music, regardless of enrollment of the VPA. 

Shelley was nominated by VPA film and animation teacher, John Timpe.

“Dr. Shelley is our boss, our fearless leader and a champion of the arts for all of our students, in both the Visual and Performing Arts magnet for our district, and as a healthy General Education arts program," Timpe said in a statement. "She is taking this a step further this year by building Intensive Reading/Language classes that entice student participation through programs such as music production.”



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