CiTi BOCES Hosts Gala for the Arts at Everson Museum

The Center for Instruction, Technology & Innovation Arts-in-Education department recently hosted a Gala for the Arts at the Everson Museum in Syracuse, recognizing the invaluable contributions of educators and students in the fine arts community.


The first of its kind, the Gala for the Arts is a testament to the organization’s commitment to nurturing creative minds and promoting arts in education.


“The purpose of this event was to create a true celebration for the arts education in our community,” said CiTi Arts-in-Education Fine Arts Specialist Christian J. Oliver. “We felt it was overdue that the arts in CNY were highlighted for the great work that has affected so many students, educators, families and communities over the years.”


The evening began with a red carpet entrance as educators, students, esteemed guests and community leaders arrived in style. As the venue filled with excitement and anticipation, attendees were greeted with mesmerizing displays of student performances and artwork showcasing the incredible talents of CNY students.


The highlight of the Gala was the awards ceremony, where educators and students were selected by a committee and recognized based upon their innovation in arts education. Teachers recommended students for their innovation in their school programs that have made an impact. Teachers and districts were selected by the committee toward their innovation in school programming.


“These folks are impacting their schools and communities and using art as the tool for that work,” said Regional Arts-in-Education Coordinator William M. Jones during the event. “We are all here tonight with one common goal: to celebrate the arts.”


North Syracuse Central School District was recognized for their guitar program and Syracuse City School District for their STEAM School. Community Impact Recognition was awarded to Lindsey Stehle of Feats of Clay. Administrator Recognition was presented to Thomas Decker of East Syracuse Minoa Central School District.


Missy Staatts of Central Square School District, Lauren Nels of Homer Central School District and Daniel Ryan of Dryden Central School District each received Art Educator Recognition.


Dr. Jennifer Greene of Manlius Central School District, Alison Miles of Fabius-Pompey Central School District and Maureen Alvaro of North Syracuse Central School District received Music Educator Recognition.


Kelly McCarthy Ziemba of Central Square School District received Theatre Educator Recognition.


The following students received recognition for innovation: Janet Conklin (Liverpool), Christian Allen (West Genesee), Samantha Buckley (Mexico), Ross Smith (Baldwinsville), Giada Podbelski (Jamesville-Dewitt), Kate Schlegel (Jamesville-Dewitt), Hayley Synakowski (Jamesville-Dewitt), Aiden DeGroff (Mexico), Ethan Gushea (Chittenango),  Tim Charbonneau (Baldwinsville),  Christian Morrow (Central Square),  Alex Ni (Liverpool),  Ellie Lower (Candor), Emanuel Coleman (Fayetteville-Manlius) and Ian Cosgrove (North Syracuse).


The Gala for the Arts not only celebrated achievements but also emphasized the need for continued investment in arts programs in schools.


“It wasn’t about raising money,” said Jones. “It was about raising awareness of the essential role arts in education plays in shaping well-rounded individuals and preparing them for a rapidly changing world.”


The success of the Gala for the Arts would not have been possible without the generous support of the Everson, LeMoyne Visual & Performing Arts, and the schools, educators and students of the fine arts community in Central New York. The event was catered by the Red Sun Fire Roasting Co. of Oswego, NY.


Jones and Oliver look forward to planning the second annual Gala for the Arts next year. For more information on CiTi Arts-in-Education offerings, visit or follow @CiTi_ArtsInEd on Instagram.