Christopher Downing, superintendent of Anaheim Elementary School District in Anaheim, Calif., is the 2023 recipient of the Save The Music Foundation’s 18th annual Administrator Award for Distinguished Support of Music Education.
The award is being bestowed at the 3rd General Session of AASA’s National Conference on Education on Saturday in San Antonio, Texas.
This award recognizes one superintendent or school district CEO who has exhibited outstanding commitment to restoring music education in his or her school district. Downing was chosen for his unwavering devotion to providing students across the city of Anaheim with a well-rounded education that includes music.
Since 2015, STM has supported Anaheim Elementary School District’s restoration of comprehensive music education across the district with both band and elementary musical instrument grant programs, music teacher professional development, and ongoing program support, totaling $850,000 in grants to date. This project is fueled by a strategic partnership with Downing, who has pledged to ensure every student in the district has equitable access to music education, taught by qualified teachers as part of the regular school day.
Students in Anaheim experience weekly music instruction from certified music teachers during the school day at its 24 school sites. The district continues to grow opportunities for students to experience music and arts instruction that reflects their cultural backgrounds through the state of California’s Expanded Opportunities Program and its long-term partnership with The Save The Music Foundation.