Arcadia seniors Lainey Durchslag, Toni Stark, Oriana Valcamp and Jamie Villarreal, along with 33 other SUSD students, were awarded this year’s Arizona State Seal of Arts Proficiency award.

This recognition comes in the form of a seal that is adhered to the students’ diploma. It states that they have completed the Fine Arts Career Pathway and completed their capstone project, which is a combination of a digital portfolio and a student-led project and reflection.

“It was an absolute honor to receive the State Seal for the Arts,” Jamie said. “The fine arts are a great passion of mine, so it feels great to be honored this way!”

The criteria for a student to receive this seal is a final GPA of 3.0 or 4.0 in each qualifying arts education course and minimum credit requirements in dance, music, theatre, visual or media arts. The student must also complete 80 hours of arts-related extracurricular activities along with the capstone project.

The award is part of the Arizona Department of Education arts program and was signed into law by Governor Doug Ducey in May 2019.

The main goals of the Arizona State Seal of Arts Proficiency are to celebrate students who demonstrate high levels of proficiency through personal expression and creative experiences, as well as artistic literacy. It also promotes access to arts education across the state and helps prepare students for college and career readiness. 

Students submit a digital portfolio that includes an artistic statement, academic resume, documentation of their extracurricular work, awards and honors and eight examples of their work.

At least one of the submissions must include an explanation of a leadership role the student has held and a reflection on why they chose the project as well as the obstacles and successes they had during the process. Lastly, the student must explain their future goals and how the arts have supported them and will continue to support them on their next steps.

“All of the work I submitted was from my film class and consisted of projects such as my special effects makeup, a music video for class and one of the festival film intros,” Lainey said. “I was very excited and proud that my hard work had paid off.”

Unfortunately, with the closures of schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was no awards banquet, but the students were honored at a virtual awards ceremony.