Columbia Heights Public Schools Superintendent Kathy L. Kelly Receives 7th Annual Vh1 Save The Music Foundation Award For Distinguished Support of Music


Kitty Porterfield/AASA 703-774-6953

Nick Cacaterra/VH1 Save The Music – Susan Blond Inc. 212-333-7728*126

Award Presented During American Association of School Administrator’s
National Conference on Education


 Kathy L. Kelly
Columbia Heights Public Schools

Alexandria, Va., February 10, 2011 – Kathy L. Kelly, Superintendent of the Columbia Heights (MN) Public Schools, has been named the recipient of the seventh annual Administrator Award for Distinguished Support of Music Education. Kelly was chosen for her deep commitment to providing Columbia Heights students with music education as part of the core curriculum. The award will be given on February 18, 2012, at the awards ceremony at the American Association of School Administrator's (AASA) National Conference on Education in Houston, TX.

The award is sponsored by the VH1 Save The Music Foundation and 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.

“Kathy L. Kelly’s work has been a prime example of what public school music programs should strive for,” said Paul Cothran, Vice President & Executive Director of the VH1 Save The Music Foundation.

“Through our partnership with her and the Columbia Heights Public Schools, we have been able to restore elementary band programs in each of the three local schools impacting 120 students each year while doubling the middle school band program and introducing a variety of extracurricular opportunities. These successes are a testament to Superintendent Kelly’s hard work and commitment to providing her students with access to a complete education.”

The Columbia Heights Public Schools aim to “create worlds of opportunity for every learner,” and since Kathy L. Kelly assumed the position of Superintendent, they have done just that. Columbia Heights Public Schools now serve as home to four full time band teachers, three elementary music teachers and two choir teachers, a significant jump from 1.5 band teachers just a few years ago.

“Without our partnership with the VH1 Save The Music Foundation, this would not have been possible. Our students learning and life experiences are richer due to access to instrumental music education,” said Kathy. L Kelly. “I am extremely honored to receive this award and eternally grateful to the Foundation for making all of our goals a reality.”

Since 2009, the VH1 Save The Music Foundation has donated $90,000 worth of new musical instrument grants to Columbia Heights public schools with grants to Valley View Elementary School, Highland Elementary School and North Park Elementary School. The program’s success has been maintained by the continued support of Superintendent Kelly.

Past recipients include: Duncan N. P. "Pat" Pritchett Jr., past superintendent of the Indianapolis Public Schools; Dr. John Lange, past superintendent of Adams County School District 14 (Colorado); Dr. Carol Johnson, past superintendent of the Memphis City Schools and current superintendent of the Boston Public Schools; Richard Kaplan, superintendent of New Brunswick (New Jersey) Public Schools; Dr. Eugene White, Superintendent of the Indianapolis Public Schools; and Dr. James A. Williams, Superintendent of the Buffalo (NY) Public Schools.

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 in 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, visit Follow AASA on Twitter at or on Facebook at

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 $48 million worth of new musical instruments, donated to more than 1,850 public schools in more than 100 cities around the country, impacting the lives of more than 1.8 million public school students.

# # # # #