Indianapolis Public Schools Superintendent Eugene White Receives 5th Annual Award for Distinguished Support of Music

Jan. 26, 2010

Award Given by the VH1 Save The Music Foundation and Presented During American Association of School Administrator’s National Conference on Education

Nyle Washington/VH1

Amy Vogt/AASA

Duane Brodt/Duane BrodtColes Marketing Communications/Bright House Networks


Phoenix, Ariz.- Eugene G. White, superintendent of the Indianapolis, Ind., Public Schools, has been named the recipient of the fifth annual Administrator Award for Distinguished Support of Music Education. White was chosen for his commitment to ensuring that music education is part of the core curriculum in all 64 Indianapolis Public Schools.

The award is sponsored by the VH1 Save The Music Foundation and will be given on Feb. 11, 2010, at the general session of the American Association of School Administrator's National Conference on Education in Phoenix, Ariz. The award is presented each year at AASA's national conference to one superintendent or school CEO who has exhibited outstanding commitment to restoring music education in his or her school district. Past recipients include: Duncan N. P. "Pat" Pritchett Jr., past superintendent of the Indianapolis Public Schools; John Lange, past superintendent of Adams County, Colo., School District 14; Carol Johnson, past superintendent of the Memphis City Schools and current superintendent of the Boston Public Schools; and Richard Kaplan, superintendent of New Brunswick, N.J., Public Schools.

Eugene G. White, Ed.D., became superintendent of Indianapolis Public Schools with the goal of IPS becoming a model urban school district. He implemented many groundbreaking changes to the district including his vision that a model urban school district would include instrumental and choral/general music programs in all schools by 2010. White made the commitment to ensure all schools had certified music teachers and that the district was staffed with music supervisor positions to coordinate and foster quality music education in the district. In August of 2009, that goal was met and all students in IPS have access to the benefits of music education.

Since 2000, The VH1 Save The Music Foundation and local media partner, Bright House Networks has provided 42 IPS schools with $1,130,000 worth of new musical instruments to jumpstart the district's elementary instrumental music programs and the success has been maintained by the continued support of Superintendent White and the IPS Board of School Commissioners. Instrumental music, both band or strings ,are offered to students in elementary, starting in grades 5 and 6. At the middle school and high school levels, there are opportunities for students to participate in band, string and choral programs. In addition, under White's leadership, the district has revived All City Choir, district music festivals and, in 2009, a Summer Music Camp that included transportation, breakfast and lunch free to IPS students. White believes in creating a culture that provides “no excuses” for failure.

“Dr. White’s commitment to music education programs throughout the Indianapolis Public Schools truly embodies the intent of this award,” said Paul Cothran, VH1 Save The Music Foundation executive director. “Each Indianapolis student that is affected by the benefits of music is a testament to his commitment to music education.”

“AASA is proud to honor Superintendent White for his commitment to music education in the Indianapolis Public Schools," said Dan Domenech, AASA executive director. “Music education is an important component of a high-quality education. We are pleased to join with VH1 Save The Music and Bright House Networks in recognizing White’s leadership in this area.”

“We at Bright House Networks believe it is critically important to help keep music alive in our schools and for children at early ages and beyond to have the opportunity to express and challenge themselves with music,” said Buz Nesbit, president of Bright House Networks Indiana. “When we first started this campaign with VH1 Save The Music Foundation, music programs were virtually non-existent in the elementary schools and suffering in the higher grades because of budgetary constraints and the high cost of musical instruments. Today, these schools have dedicated and talented teachers leading vibrant musical exploration instructions that are equipped with free instruments for students. This far-reaching and high-impact initiative would not have been possible without Dr. White’s devotion to each school that IPS serves and his dedication to keeping music alive for IPS students.”

Research consistently shows that musical study develops critical thinking and self discipline skills and improves a child's early cognitive development, basic math and reading abilities, self-esteem, SAT scores, ability to work in teams, spatial reasoning skills and school attendance. Researchers have also found that children involved with music education are more likely to graduate from high school and attend college and are less likely to be involved with gangs and substance abuse.

Download a photo of White receiving the award.

2010 VH1 Award

Pictured L-R: AASA President Mark Bielang, superintendent in Paw Paw, Mich.; Chiho Okuizumi of the VH1 Save The Music Foundation; White; and Dan Domenech, executive director, American Association of School Administrators.

About AASA
The American Association of School Administrators, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders across the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to the highest quality public education for all children. For more information, please visit

About VH1 Save The Music
The VH1 Save The Music Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring instrumental music education programs in America’s public schools, and raising awareness about the importance of music as part of each child’s complete education. Since 1997, VH1 Save The Music has provided $45 million worth of new musical instruments, donated to more than 1,700 public schools in more than 100 cities around the country, impacting the lives of more than 1.4 million public school students. Now twelve years strong, it is our renewed commitment to donate one hundred million dollars worth of new musical instruments to ensure that even a greater number of students receive a comprehensive music education in the coming decade! VH1 Save The Music’s many honors include the Governors’ Award (a special Emmy Award), the George Foster Peabody Award for broadcast and cable excellence, and many Beacon Awards.

About Bright House Networks
Bright House Networks is the seventh largest multiple cable system operator (MSO) in the U.S. with 2.4 million customers in several large cities, including Tampa Bay and Orlando, Fla.; Bakersfield, Calif.; Indianapolis; Detroit; and Birmingham, Ala.; along with several other smaller regions in Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. The Florida markets are adjacent and form one of the country’s largest cable clusters. With customer care a top priority across all operating units, Bright House Networks was ranked the “Highest in Residential Telephone Customer Satisfaction in the South Region” by J.D. Power and Associates in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. J.D. Power and Associates also ranked Bright House Networks the “Highest in Customer Satisfaction among High-Speed Internet Service Providers in the South Region” in 2008 and 2009. For more about Bright House Networks or its products and services, visit