LOS ANGELES — On March 1, the Music Center, one of the top performing arts centers in the world, announced the winners of the 30th Annual Music Center BRAVO Awards. This year’s Fifth Supervisorial District Winner, under Supervisor Michael Antonovich, was Mr. Shahé Mankerian, the Principal of St. Gregory Hovsepian School in Pasadena. Established in 1982, the Music Center BRAVO Awards recognizes teachers and schools for innovation and excellence in arts education, honoring educators who use the arts to revitalize teaching, enhance student achievement and foster self-esteem, teamwork and cross-cultural communication and understanding.
Mr. Mankerian, the first Armenian educator to be the recipient of the BRAVO Awards, received this honor because of his achievement as an instructor of Language Arts. Mankerian believes strongly that Principals should not isolate themselves in the administration office but partake actively in the daily academic acceleration of students. Therefore, as a Principal, he starts his day by teaching two English classes to middle school students. Being an award-winning poet, Mankerian advocates the Arts in his Language Arts curriculum by drawing inspiration and motivation from famous paintings and allowing students to write poetry, stories, and reflections based on these masterpieces. Furthermore, Mankerian takes his middle school students to a different museum each month for an interactive visual experience.
BRAVO Award winners were saluted at a special celebration held at the Music Center’s Walt Disney Concert Hall “We salute all the amazing educators that participated in the BRAVO program. They inspire all of us to continue to speak out for the essential importance of arts education for all students,” said Mark Slavkin, Vice President for Education at the Music Center. Special host Garry Marshall presided over the celebrations. His particular connection to arts education came from his mother who “. . . taught dance for fifty years in the basement of our home in the Bronx,” said Marshall, who began tearing up at the recollection.
The evening came to a close with stirring thank you speeches from each candidate, reinforcing the transformative power of the BRAVO program. “The BRAVO program has revitalized my belief in the Arts program,” said Mankerian. “We’ve been challenged to examine our teaching philosophy and our instructional practice. I cannot imagine any school, any curriculum, without the infusion of the Arts.”