2005 Governors Arts Awards
Arts in Education Award Recipient:
Dr. Roger Brooks, Principal, Beaver Meadow School, Concord
Dr. Roger Brooks, Principal of the Beaver Meadow School in Concord is a leader in Arts Education programming for the Concord School District. He worked along side the PTO to revitalize the Artist-in-Residency Program that fell victim to the mid-90s budget cuts. A grant application was submitted to the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts to bring Arthur Hall to the Beaver Meadow School. Over 500 students participated in Hall’s residency. Dr. Brooks plays a key role in developing and seeking funds for Artist Residencies each year.
Dr. Brooks also supports a number of after-school programs in dance, theatre, music, and the visual arts. Each year you can find him performing on stage as the feature performer in the staff scene for the Student Actors Program, an after-school full production musical theatre program for students grade three through five.
Dr. Brooks also develops and promotes the Higher Order Thinking (HOT) School Program at Beaver Meadow School. Based on a model created at the Wolcott School in West Hartford, CT and piloted at a number of schools in New Hampshire, the HOT School Program focuses on excellence in the arts, academics and democracy. This triad model places a high value on the arts in relation to the culture and community of a school. Dr. Brooks has been an essential part of the program’s development, from chairing the Integrated Arts Committee to promoting and recognizing artists, writers and musicians at bi-weekly town meetings, or incorporating a student council to help empower kids with a democratic voice.
Outside the Beaver Meadow School, Dr. Brooks has served as board member at Concord Community Television and the Capitol Center for the Arts. Each year Dr. Brooks and a team of teachers work with the Capitol Center for the Arts to provide a full day conference for teachers in central New Hampshire that focuses on theatre and the performing arts -- a teaching and learning tool.
“Even before I came to work for [Dr. Brooks] at Beaver Meadow, I was well aware of his long-standing commitment to arts education. As a school administrator, he has consistently used his role and many resources in making the arts a primary component in the schools. Quite frankly, [Dr. Brooks] is one of the main reasons I decided to teach in Concord. I can honestly say that in my 28 years of teaching in the arts, Dr. Brooks has been the most genuine administrator I have worked with regarding the support and commitment to arts education,’ writes primary nominator, John C. Hatab.
“Under [Dr. Brooks] spirited leadership, the Beaver Meadow School community gathers twice a month to recognize and celebrate excellence in their students and in their school. He has used the arts – all forms of arts – to bring together youngsters, families, and staff at Beaver Meadow School to a common purpose. This bringing together of folks with diverse backgrounds, skin color, languages, advantages and disadvantages through the arts provides the foundation upon which Beaver Meadow staff have built their academic programs,” writes supporting nominator, Christine C. Rath, Superintendent of Schools, SAU8.
“With Dr. Brooks’ experience in developing the New Hampshire Arts Curriculum Frameworks, the Capitol Center for the Arts began to link its School Series programming to all of the frameworks across the curriculum. With these links, the Capitol Center started to view the arts experience from a number of different perspectives creating a sophisticated rubric for assessing performances. All of this was done in collaboration with Dr. Brooks and staff and the relationship set the groundwork for the Concord School District’s Literacy Arts initiative. This program was presented as a model for effecting educational and social reform at the International Showcase of Performing Arts for Young People in 2003,” co-supporting nominators, M.T. Mennino, Executive Director and Shawn Powers, Director of Education at the Capitol Center for the Arts.