Little Silver, NJ –  The Red Bank Regional (RBR) Visual and Performing Arts Academy (VPA) was recently honored by the New Jersey Art Education Partnership (NJAEP) as a Model School in the Arts. Only six other schools were selected in the state to receive this honor.

Kristin Wenger, the Director of the NJAEP, presented the award to the Red Bank Regional Board of Education at its June 2 Board Meeting.


RBR’s Visual and Performing Arts Program was recently honored as a Model School of the Arts by the New Jersey Art Education Partnership (NJAEP). (Pictured left to right) Accepting the award from NJAEP Director Kristin Wenger (center) are: VPA teachers Terry Whelan, Camille Thompson, Kerry McNulty, (Kristin Wenger), VPA supervisor Barbara DiLea, RBR Principal Risa Clay and RBR music teacher Kristopher Zook.

Ms. Wenger stated that the goal of the Model school project (which was created several years ago by a diverse partnership of private and public entities) was to analyze the elements of model education programs, determine the attributes shared by model schools and provide mentoring to schools looking to improve their arts education program.

Ms. Wenger enumerated the reasons RBR’s VPA was chosen as a model school in the arts stating, “The team that visited the Red Bank Regional High School praised:

  • The strong commitment of Arts Supervisor Barbara DiLea
  • Administration that values arts education led by Principal Risa Clay
  • The strong team of art educators who obviously love what they do
  • A great scheduling model
  • Strength in four content areas
  • A long established academy model
  • The use of outside artists to enhance the program
  • A very high graduation rate
  • Strong parental support for the arts
  • A community that champions the arts.”


The RBR VPA has been honored as a model school by the State of New Jersey in the past. The program, founded 26 years ago, offers majors in dance, drama, instrumental, vocal music, and piano, as well as commercial art, creative writing and commercial photography. Acceptance to the VPA is based on auditions and/or portfolio assessment. The program currently requires that students take two to three blocks of their major each day along with the full schedule of college preparatory courses and requirements for graduation.

The New Jersey Arts Education Partnership was formed via a diverse group of stakeholders with interest in the arts and is funded from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts and from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. For more information on NJAEP visit their website at http://www.artsednj.org.

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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...