Buffalo Public Schools Superintendent James A. Williams Receives 6th Annual Award for Distinguished Support of Music

Contact:Kitty Porterfield, kporterfield@aasa.org, 703-774-6953; Nick Cacaterra/VH1 Save The Music – Susan Blond Inc., 212-333-7728, ext. 126

ARLINGTON, Va., Feb. 17, 2011. James A. Williams, superintendent of the Buffalo, N.Y., Public Schools, has been named the recipient of the sixth annual Award for Distinguished Support of Music. Williams was chosen for his deep commitment to providing Buffalo students with music education as part of the core curriculum.The award, sponsored by the VH1 Save The Music Foundation and AASA will be given at the awards ceremony at the American Association of School Administrator's National Conference on Education in Denver.

The award is presented each year at AASA's national conference to a superintendent or school CEO who has exhibited outstanding commitment to restoring music education in his or her school district.

Since Williams became superintendent of the Buffalo Public Schools in 2005, he has shown his commitment to music education by ensuring that, even amidst a challenging economic time for the city of Buffalo and the Buffalo Public School district, music programs have been maintained and grown. Williams established a budget specifically for music education; developed an all-city chorus, all-city marching band, summer band camps, and full-day middle school music camps that provide band, choral and orchestral instruction; upgraded music facilities throughout the district and reestablished music programs that had been eliminated in past years. Williams was recently honored with the first annual Leadership in Music Education Award by the BPO and the Erie County Music Educators Association.

From 1998 to 2001, The VH1 Save The Music Foundation provided the Buffalo Public Schools $1,025,000 worth of new musical instruments to jumpstart the instrumental music programs in 41 schools, and the success has been maintained by Williams’ continued support.

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

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.

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 www.aasa.org. Follow AASA on twitter at www.twitter.com/AASAHQ or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AASApage.

About VH1 Save The Music Foundation

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 $47 million worth of new musical instruments, donated to more than 1,750 public schools in more than 100 cities around the country, impacting the lives of more than 1.6 million public school students.

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