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Mississippi Superintendent Receives 19th Annual Save The Music Foundation Award for Distinguished Support of Music Education

Amy Carter, superintendent in Meridian, Miss. Photo courtesy of Amy Carter.

Amy J. Carter, superintendent of Meridian Public School District in Meridian, Miss., is the 2024 recipient of the Save The Music Foundation’s 19th annual Administrator Award for Distinguished Support of Music Education.

The award was presented at the 3rd General Session of AASA’s National Conference on Education in San Diego on Saturday morning.

This award recognizes one superintendent or school district CEO who has exhibited outstanding commitment to restoring music education in his or her school district. Carter was chosen for her unwavering devotion to providing students across the community of Meridian with a well-rounded education that includes music.

“I am humbled and honored to receive this award,” said Carter, in a pre-conference interview.  “The arts were instrumental in making me the person I am today and through the Save the Music Foundation Grants – we are able to provide those same opportunities for the students in Meridian. I was one of those students who may not have gotten the opportunity to attend college without the doors the arts opened for me. My goal is to provide the same opportunities and beyond for our students in Meridian. Music provides our students with an arena to showcase and develop their many talents.”

During the past two years, Save the Music has supported her district’s investment in K-12 comprehensive music education across the district with both elementary music and middle school band grant programs, music teacher professional development and ongoing program support, totaling more than $200,000. This project is fueled by a strategic partnership with Carter, 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.

“Superintendent Carter’s leadership is a model for music education investment for students,” said Jaclyn Rudderow, senior director of school programs for Save The Music Foundation. “Her leadership and vision have brought rich and well-rounded music education access to all Meridian students K-12 and Save The Music is thrilled to be honoring her on a national level.”

Through the Save The Music Foundation grants, Carver Elementary, Crestwood Elementary, Parkview Elementary, West Hills Elementary, and both Magnolia Middle School and Northwest Middle School have been able to expand their music programs. Students now have access to new instruments without the worry of financial burden being a barrier to them participating in the arts. The band at Northwest alone has more than 200 members.

The Meridian Public School District serves 4,900 students on 12 school campuses.

Past recipients of this award include: Christopher Downing, superintendent, Anaheim Elementary School District (Calif.); Elizabeth Lolli, superintendent, Dayton Public Schools (Ohio); Leon Rogers, superintendent, Newark Public Schools (N.J.); Keely Roberts, superintendent, Zion Elementary District 6 (Ill.); Francisco Escobedo, superintendent, Chula Vista Elementary School District (Calif.); Nancy Sarra, superintendent, Consolidated School District of New Britain (Conn.); Kevin George, superintendent, St. John the Baptist Parish Public Schools (La.); Russell Freitas, superintendent, Firebaugh-Las Deltas Unified School District (Calif.); Kristi Wilson, superintendent, Buckeye Elementary School District (Ariz.); Reginald Mayo, retired superintendent, New Haven Public Schools (Conn.); Rita Bishop, superintendent, Roanoke City Public Schools (Va.); Kathy L. Kelly, superintendent, Columbia Heights Public Schools (Minn.); Duncan N. P. “Pat” Pritchett Jr., former superintendent, Indianapolis Public Schools (Ind.); John Lange, former superintendent, Adams County School District 14 (Colo.); Carol Johnson, former superintendent, Memphis City Schools (Tenn.) and current superintendent, Boston Public Schools (Mass.); Richard Kaplan, superintendent, New Brunswick Public Schools (N.J.); Eugene White, retired superintendent, Indianapolis Public Schools (Ind.); and James A. Williams, former superintendent, Buffalo Public Schools (N.Y.).

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