Echo Canyon School put on its inaugural Celebration of Excellence in May to celebrate students’ art and music projects while showcasing them to the community. 

Exposure to the arts has been shown to help develop creative problem-solving, critical thinking and communication skills, in addition to improving focus, discipline and self-esteem.

Echo Canyon has fully embraced the importance of instilling a love of the arts in its students while also highlighting the students’ accomplishments throughout the year. The inspiration for the Celebration of Excellence was born from these goals.

“We wanted to make it all-inclusive, including not only arts and science, but displaying all areas of excellence throughout the school,” Principal Kat Hughes said. 

Attendees of the Celebration of Excellence entered into a fine concert hall – which during the week is known as the cafeteria – filled with music performed by Echo Canyon’s bands and orchestras from the fourth and fifth grades as well as the middle school. The bands were headed by Conductor John Toerner and Maestro Carlie Smith.

A myriad of projects from students greeted attendees in classrooms and other common areas throughout the campus.

Echo Canyon’s staff embraces project-based learning. One of the key characteristics of this learning tool is to present and engage the students in real-world problems and carry that on to real-world applications. 

Project-based learning is a vital segment of STEM which focuses on the subjects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. STEM programs are designed in such a way to combine these subjects and how they can be applied to life beyond the classroom. 

“The projects were on display so that parents could enjoy the illumination of student learning in our inter-disciplinary units for this school year,” Hughes said. 

The Art Gallery Walk was guided by the expert hand of art teacher Yvonne White. Throughout the gym, students’ masterpieces were on full display rivaling any great art museum across the world – at least in the eyes of adoring parents. 

Each student was given the opportunity to choose something that they created this school year to be put out for the masses to admire. 

Parents were given the opportunity to purchase their child’s artwork. Canvas masterpieces were framed, and the ceramic pieces created during their 3D design lesson were given their own art stand to be displayed in their homes. 

The success of the evening only solidified what will be an annual tradition at Echo Canyon for years to come.