Arizona School for the Arts CEO Leah Fregulia Selected as 2016 Piper Fellow
Fellowship to raise visibility for ASA as a national model in education
PHOENIX (January 30, 2017) - Arizona School for the Arts (ASA) CEO Leah Fregulia has been selected by Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust as a 2016 Piper Fellow. Through a competitive selection process, Piper Trust selects up to six Piper Fellow annually. Fregulia will use the fellowship grant to raise ASA’s visibility throughout the state and across the nation as a leading example of the impact of arts on student achievement, academic performance, and community connectivity.
“I am honored to be selected as a Piper Fellow. The fellowship will help enable ASA to serve as a proven model and inspiration of what works in education,” said Fregulia who was a founding faculty member of ASA in 1995 and served as the school’s principal for 9 years prior to assuming her current role as CEO and Head of School in 2008. During Fregulia’s leadership tenure, ASA has doubled in size, built a permanent campus in the Phoenix Central Arts District and established partnerships throughout the business arts and education sectors.
Unlike most schools in the United States that offer a rigorous college preparatory education combined with a performing arts curriculum, ASA’s student admissions are not based on arts auditions or academic tests scores. The school draws its 5th-12th grade student body through public lottery. While all enrolled students must select a performing arts focus in either theater, music, or dance, no prior arts experience is required. This enables access to the arts for students of all backgrounds.
As part of the Piper Fellowship, Fregulia will be engaging with a national coalition of arts leaders and advocates in Chicago, New York and Washington, using ASA as a model and impetus for thought leadership in education. Fregulia will also be developing a toolbox of content and communication tools that will showcase ASA’s successes to local and state decision makers as well as a national audience of educators, funders and influencers.
“The arts have the power to transform us, elevate our experiences, stimulate our creativity and our curiosity, and connect us with one another. Beyond this intrinsic value, study in the arts contributes to student achievement, success and happiness,” said Fregulia. “This Fellowship is a first step toward showing the power of the arts as a transformative agent in school and toward building a case for equity and access to artistic study for all children.”
Fregulia’s leadership has helped to establish ASA as one of the top academic schools in Arizona while maintaining its dual focus on the performing arts. ASA was ranked in the top 15 schools in Arizona for combined SAT scores in 2015 and ranked as a Silver Medal Top School in the U.S. by US News and World Report. The school has also been named an AZ Civic Engagement School of Excellence and is the recipient of the Governor’s Arts Award for Educational Organization as well as the Grammy School Enterprise Award.
About Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Fellows Program
The Piper Fellows program acknowledges the never-casing demands of nonprofit leadership and offers opportunities for nonprofit leaders to reach, retool and revitalize. Piper Trust offers up to six fellowship awards of $30,000 (maximum) annually to support professional development for outstanding leaders of 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations serving Maricopa County.