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VENTURA : Teacher Wins Award for Arts Programs

An Ojai teacher who has helped develop four programs to bring arts into Ventura County classrooms has been recognized for excellence by the California School Boards Foundation.

Brian Bemel, who works for the Ventura Unified School District and the Ventura County superintendent of schools office, won a Golden Bell award, said Joseph Spirito, superintendent of the Ventura school district.

The programs include Adventures in the Performing Arts, which brings world-class performers to public auditoriums in Thousand Oaks, Oxnard and Ventura for school presentations. A similar program, called Assemblies At Your School, brings performers from national touring companies directly to school sites.

The Artist in the Classroom program brings a local artist into a single classroom for eight weeks to teach students different ways of drawing, painting and sculpting. And a teacher-training workshop shows instructors how they can introduce artistic disciplines into daily lesson plans.

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Bemel will be given the award at a banquet scheduled for December, Spirito said. Golden Bell awards are given annually by the foundation to recognize teachers, school administrators and school board members who create innovative programs, he said.


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