Nineteen SDUSD Teachers Receive VAPA Foundation Funding

Posted: Wednesday, December 5th 2018

Nineteen San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) teachers will receive awards to underwrite visual and performing arts – VAPA – related activities and purchases funded by the VAPA Foundation’s 2018-2019 VAPA Enhancement Program. The VAPA Enhancement Program, or VEP, enables any San Diego Unified teacher to apply for funds to enhance the quality of and access to arts education in the classroom or school. The VAPA Foundation funds arts enhancements not covered by a school’s budget.  

This year, the VAPA Enhancement Program will fund field trips, artist residencies culminating in student performances, murals, ukuleles, new music and more. Each successful applicant linked the request to ongoing curriculum goals. Eight teachers will receive up to $2,500. Eleven teachers will receive up to $500. Recipients span elementary, middle, and high schools throughout the district (see list below), with over 1,350 students benefitting from this program. The reach extends onward to future years with new equipment and to the community via student performances, such as the theatre production presented by Michelle Yepiz’s students for over 800 classmates at Zamorano Fine Arts Academy. As intended, these awards create a ripple of arts awareness at each site.

Larry Baza, VAPA Foundation President, says, “The VAPA Foundation exists to provide support for teachers of music, dance, theater, and the visual arts throughout the San Diego Unified School District. The VAPA Enhancement Program reaches across grade levels providing needed funds for special projects, materials and transportation for field trips. Nineteen teachers were successful in securing VAPA Foundation funds to create exciting student experiences for learning art forms.”

The VAPA Enhancement program is supported, in part, by a partnership with UC San Diego and by donors from the community that recognize the value of arts education. For more information, please visit


2018 VAPA Enhancement Program Recipients






$500 or less


Isabelle Farrell

Wegeforth Elementary

Field trip to Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad


Michelle Hesse

Harley E. Knox Middle

Transportation to a theatrical performance


Mary Jennings-Mull

Fletcher Elementary

24 Diamond Head ukuleles


Judy Johnson

Johnson STEM

24 SAGA Soprano ukuleles


Billie Jonason

Fulton K - 8

Field trip to Classics 4Kids Sing Me a Story, a performance connecting music and language/storytelling


Monica Levacy

Vista Grande Elementary

Field trip to CYT's Cinderella to see literature come to life.


Matthew Mulvaney

Mira Mesa High

Acquisition of new, innovative works to be performed at annual winter concert.


Kim Oliver

Carson Elementary

Field trip to Classics 4Kids Music Takes Flight, a performance focusing on things that fly, including literary/film characters.


Mimi Quach

Audubon K-8

Workshop/assembly with Classics 4Kids to learn the science of sound and how instruments make music.


Katelyn Staszkow

Sequoia Elementary

Battery-powered speaker and microphone for dance program.


Michelle Yepiz

Zamorano Fine Arts Academy

Script, accompaniment CD, teachers guide for Harmony High, a 5th grade musical theatre production.


$2,500 or less


Caitlin Black

East Village High

Photographic artist residency by Outside the Lens.


Jessica Curiel

San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts

Artist residency by Malashock Dance, San Diego Dance Theatre, and San Diego Ballet to work with students on technique and two set pieces.


Nathalie Faustino-Kuglen

Madison High

Reincorporate dance at school via a dance team in collaboration with San Diego Dance Theater.


Matthew Lyons

Oak Park Elementary

Equipment including Macbook Pro, microphone, microphone cables, studio monitors, headphones, audio interface, beat production system, and midi controller to create a digital music production class in partnership with the David's Harp Foundation.


Donald J. Masse

Zamorano Fine Arts Academy

Artists Gloria Muriel and Maxx Moses will create two murals on campus with student participation.


Madelyn Murphy-Cristal

Dewey Elementary

Math in Motion artist residency provided by Malashock Dance.


Philippe Poncey

San Diego High

Field trip to Julius Caesar at the Old Globe and work with an Old Globe teaching artist to rewrite the play using modern English and a contemporary setting.


Maj Xander

Montgomery Middle STEAM Magnet

Artist residency by PGK Dance Project in two performances for students and community.


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