Denzel Washington School of the Arts serves students in grade 6-12. This is a major milestone for the MVCSD. We are grateful for the support we have received at our performances throughout the years. We also appreciate and acknowledge Nellie A. Thornton High School staff and students for welcoming us for 2018 -2020, Principal Alan Gonzalez for supporting our initial program at Grimes Elementary via our Summer Bridge Program 2015; Principal Brown for housing and supervising our program at BTMS in 2015-2016; and Principal Ron Gonzalez for allowing our program to nest at MVHS 2016 - 2018. Our school would not exist if not for the support of those administrators.
We are also thrilled that we were able to create and nurture our school with the full support of our superintendent Dr. Kenneth R. Hamilton, his cabinet and the Board of Trustees. Thank you.
The objective of the Denzel Washington School of the Arts is to provide an educational experience for children passionate about an art discipline. We utilize this passion as a gateway for preparation in college or conservatory training. We recognize that some of our students will pursue the arts and enter professional careers in the arts - continuing Mount Vernon's legacy of creating stars. We also recognize that others will elect traditional majors and contribute to our society as doctors, lawyers, teachers and in other professions. Either way, our goal includes educating the whole child and nurturing their self-esteem, confidence, and passion for learning. We also endeavor to nurture future patrons of the arts.
Three new principals, each with more than 20 years’ experience in education, will lead schools in the Mount Vernon City School District this year. The principals were hired Wednesday, Sept. 1, by the school board. They are: Matthew Gonzales for Mount Vernon High School; Thrusha Henderson for the Pennington School; and Sharon Spencer for the Mount Vernon STEAM Academy.
The Mount Vernon City School District Board of Education adopted on Wednesday, September 1, a comprehensive Diversity, Equity and Inclusion policy. According to the policy, the school board “is committed to creating and maintaining a positive and inclusive learning environment where all students, including and especially those currently and historically marginalized, feel safe, included, welcomed, and accepted, and experience a sense of belonging and the potential for academic success.
Hometown hero Rai Benjamin, with gold and silver Olympic medals around his neck, returned to Mount Vernon Friday, September 10, 2021 where he was cheered by school children throughout the city, gratefully accepted a handful of proclamations, and received the Key to the City. Beginning shortly after noon, he was carried on a parade platform through the city in a motorcade, a fire engine and a police escort. With family members, supporters and city and school district leaders, the motorcade included members of the entourage in classic cars – a blue Oldsmobile Cutlass convertible, a red Chevrolet Bel Air, a pale yellow Thunderbird among them.
Across the Mount Vernon City School District, students reported for the first day of the 2021-22 school year today, with adjusted COVID regulations – requiring 3 feet of distance rather than 6, for instance – making it possible to hold in-person school for the entire enrollment of 7,500. Students were excited to fully engage in lessons as well as eat lunch with schoolmates and friends.
The Mount Vernon City School District kicked off the school year at its annual convocation on Wednesday, September 1, with inspirational messages for faculty, staff, administrators, and the community. The theme of this year’s event focused on Rebuilding, Refocusing and Reimagining Education.
The Mount Vernon City School District offers a creative opportunity for students entering grades 6 – 10 to excel academically and artistically. Denzel Washington School of the Arts is designed for creative students interested in the arts. Students can apply from any Mount Vernon school and are admitted based on an audition in theatre, vocal music, dance, a visual arts portfolio, or playing a musical instrument in addition to a comprehensive application and an interview with the student and parent. The school will assist each student with discovering and nurturing their unique talent while also utilizing an arts framework to support success in academic classes. Students will transfer their creative skills to the classroom and build their cognitive framework and affective mindset to become strong readers, mathematicians, thinkers and learners.
Please read the attached press release and flyer for an upcoming concert featuring Judah Taylor, won first place in the William Warfield Classical Voice Competition. Judah Taylor, sophomore at Denzel Washington School of the Arts, in Mount Vernon, New York. placed first in the 2020 William Warfield Scholarship Fund Classical Vocal Competition for African American High School Students, with his amazing performance of “Caro, Mio Ben”. This rising artist has performed at the 2020 Mount Vernon Mayoral Inauguration; and he is a current member of the Greater Centennial AME Zion Men’s Chorus. Judah has received acting scholarships from American Academy of Dramatic Arts 2019 and AMDA 2018, 2020. In addition, Judah Taylor attends the Juilliard Pre-College with support from The Epstein Family Foundation Scholarship.
Under the direction of Dr. Evelyn Collins, students from the Mount Vernon Performing and Visual Arts Magnet Program will take the stage to perform August Wilson’s play, ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.’ Performances are scheduled for Friday, March 1 and Saturday, March 2, 2019, at 6:00 p.m. and Sunday, March 3, 2019, at 3:00 p.m. at Nellie Thornton High School, located at 121 South 6th Avenue, Mount Vernon.
Eighth-grader Judah Taylor, 14, talks about his role in a Netflix original miniseries called "Central Park 5" at Thornton High School which houses the Performing & Visual Arts Magnet School Nov. 5, 1018 in Mount Vernon.
"Arts Education benefits the student because it cultivates the whole child, gradually building many kinds of literacy while developing intuition, reasoning, imagination, and dexterity into unique forms of expression and communication. This process requires not merely an active mind but a trained one. An education in the arts benefits society because students of the arts gain powerful tools for understanding human experiences, both past and present. They learn to respect the often very different ways others have of thinking, working, and expressing themselves. They learn to make decisions in situations where there are no standard answers. By studying the arts, students stimulate their natural creativity and learn to develop it to meet the needs of a complex and competitive society. And, as study and competence in the arts reinforce one other, the joy of learning becomes real, tangible, and powerful."