Maryville's Barron to be part of Fund for the Arts board

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Maryville Elementary School Counselor Kaet Barron has the opportunity to help shape the future of artistic endeavors available to schools and the community.

ऀShe has been extended a formal invitation to become a member of the NeXt! Leadership Development program presented by the Fund for the Arts, a Louisville grant making agency providing cultural enrichment experiences for youth and adults.

ऀBarron expressed enthusiasm about working with the 20 young professionals selected from the Kentuckiana area.

ऀ“I grew up in the arts and attended college initially to study theatre,” she said. “Finding my niche in theatre helped me survive my teenage years when I struggled to fit in. The arts have always had an important role in my life.”

ऀDuring the 2013-2014 school year, Barron attended an information session on the Fund for the Arts education grants.

ऀ“I learned of the Next Leadership Program following the information session and thought this could be a great opportunity to push for more arts in education while learning more about the benefits of arts in all aspects of our community,” she said.

ऀIn preparing her application, Barron focused on how her profession reaches a lot of young lives.

ऀ“I grew up with a love of the arts, so the desire to serve our arts community comes very natural to me,” she observed. “In the past, the Next Leadership Program has had very few applicants from the education field. I think my role as a counselor allows me a unique perspective from the education profession.”

ऀThe NeXt! Commitment encompasses two years culminating in a 2016 graduation; mandatory attendance at monthly meetings; participation in budget and allocation presentations; seeking networking opportunities with Arts leaders and board members; financially supporting the Fund for the Arts during the annual campaign; and promoting the arts community through social media.

ऀBarron feels firm that students who are exposed to the arts in early schooling have higher attendance, higher academic achievement and are less likely to face disciplinary action at school and later in life.

ऀ“When a child is exposed to the arts and discovers either a skill or interest, it provides them a community and a purpose,” she noted.“I know not all children or individuals will develop a love of the arts, but I think it is so important that we expose them to arts experience so they have the opportunity to decide for themselves. I believe the arts are just as fundamental to growth and development as reading, math and other core subjects.”

ऀBarron is beginning her fourth year as Maryville counselor. She and her husband, Adam, will celebrate the first birthday of their daughter, Drew, in September.

ऀDoes being a full-time mom, wife and employee leave time for anything else?

ऀ“My role as a counselor is to provide opportunities for the social, emotional and academic success of my students,” she said. “As a mom, my goals are the same. . .I want my daughter to achieve all that she can and wants to. I believe my role in the Next Leadership Program goes hand in hand with both of these other roles. I am setting an example for my daughter and for my students by becoming involved in something I believe it, while also lobbying for more arts in education. I fully believe my involvement in the Next Leadership will benefit myself, my family and my school.”

ऀBarron hopes her involvement will help all Bullitt County Public Schools have more offerings in the arts.

ऀBullitt County Public Schools has over 13,200 students in grades preschool through 12. There are 25 school facilities, a certified staff of over 900 and a classified staff of over 800 working to make the district the leader in educational excellence.