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ELEVATE: Keeping Imaginations Alive

Ardmore City School District emphasizes importance of well-rounded education with extensive fine arts offerings.

ARDMORE (Dec. 11, 2019) – Ardmore City Schools’ emphasis on fine arts is helping its students achieve a well-rounded education. From better test scores to more creativity and teamwork, school leaders are seeing a positive change.

“The fine arts program is vital to our young people,” said Ardmore Superintendent Kim Holland. “It’s vital to our community, and if you want to make your school a well-rounded school and you want to raise test scores, you need to have a strong, vibrant fine arts program.”

The fine arts program in Ardmore offers music classes including band, vocal, orchestra, guitar, piano, marching band, music theory, drama, theater, speech and debate. Art is also offered to middle and high school students. In the elementary schools, art is taught by volunteers.

“The immediate gratification that students get through so many things in their lives doesn’t happen through fine arts classes,” said Chauvin Aaron, Ardmore’s associate director of fine arts. “It is something they have to continue to work toward to build and develop. Just the idea of creating this process – of starting something, continuing to improve it and then finishing it – is something they need to do with everything in their lives.”

Ardmore’s next goal is to add a dance program. The district will soon break ground on a new performing arts facility at the high school.

"Schools with the most fine arts opportunities are typically within the two metro areas, but Ardmore’s art program is on par with some of the state’s largest districts – districts with many more students and resources,” said Elizabeth Maughan, director of fine arts at the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE). “Ardmore has been able to hold onto programs through budget cuts and create an incredible, well-rounded learning environment for their students. Ardmore is a model for other districts to follow as they work to restore classes and experiences for all Oklahoma students."

To find resources and connect with OSDE’s fine arts director, Elizabeth Maughan, visit

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Last updated on December 11, 2019