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Delaware Music Educators Honor Mark Anderson

Performing arts take center stage at Sanford School, and Head of School Mark Anderson was honored by the Delaware Music Educators Association (DMEA) with the 2021 Outstanding Administrator of the Year Award to acknowledge his extraordinary support for the school’s music program.
“Mark Anderson is a die-hard supporter of the arts at Sanford and we are fortunate to have such a caring, compassionate leader,” explains Clint Williams, Performing Arts Instructor and DMEA’s All-State Ensembles Coordinator who oversees auditions and concerts for All-State Band, Jazz Band, Orchestra, and Chorus.

“Speaking with teachers from all over the state for so many years, I know what school music programs look like and what the support is like. Mark is different—he wants our music program, and all programs at Sanford to succeed.

“This past year when we all got hit hard because of COVID, Mark ordered tents to be set up on our campus so we could rehearse outdoors. He listened to the performing arts faculty and trusted us since we are the experts in our field. He always trusts us and we trust him,” reflects Williams. “This was the perfect year to nominate Mark for this prestigious award.”

In fact, the performing arts faculty surprised Anderson with the award presentation at their 2021 closing meeting in June. “To be honored by the association and my Sanford colleagues is both amazing and humbling,” says Anderson.

“When you boil it down, supporting Sanford teachers and programs truly is my role as a leader. When they soar, our students win—I want to do anything I can to help Sanford teachers perform at the highest level,” observes Anderson.

“And our performing arts group is an easy group to support because their work with students in band, choir, theater has long been exceptional. Like we ask students to stretch in the classroom and on the athletic fields, Sanford students similarly grow in incredible ways when they take part in our performing arts programs.”

What’s in store for the upcoming academic season? “We are planning on doing a fall play, choral and instrumental concerts, and the winter musical in the same way that we have in the past. We certainly know there may be some restrictions and are ready for another new ‘normal’—with more flexibility throughout the school year,” explains Williams. “Our department is in the very capable hands of our Department Chair Jennifer Kowalski this year.”

As for Anderson’s role: “I can’t wait to join our audience for full performances and concerts in the coming year!”

The Delaware Music Educators Association, a body of professional music educators, exists to improve music curricula and instruction for students in public, private, parochial and charter schools and to foster professional growth of all music educators in Delaware. The Association advocates the National Standards as promoted by the NAfME and accepted by the U.S. Department of Education for school music programs and the Delaware Standards for Music as developed by the Visual and Performing Arts Frameworks Commission. The DMEA provides professional development for the members of the organization as well as other music educators in Delaware.

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