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Anonia named director of visual, performing arts

The Parkland School Board has appointed Francis “Frank” Anonia as director of visual and performing arts, effective January 2022 when Mark Stutz, the district’s first director of visual and performing arts, retires.

Anonia, who has been the high school choral director since 2007, will continue in that role through the end of the first semester.

He has developed a choral program that encompasses more than 350 high school students in five different vocal ensembles.

Under Anonia’s leadership, Parkland stands as the only high school to be consecutively nominated for Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical each year of the FREDDY&Copy; Awards program.

Additionally, Parkland is the most nominated and most award-winning high school in FREDDY history.

In addition to directing the choral ensembles and spring musicals, Anonia has taken on other roles such as high school play producer and costume manager.

Before working at Parkland, he was the director of choral activities in the Whitehall-Coplay School District where his duties included Concert Choir, Women’s Choir, piano class and general music.

The director of visual and performing arts is responsible for the development and implementation of all performing, visual and arts integrated curriculum, programming, and performance/presentations in all kindergarten through grade 12 schools.

Parkland offers a series of arts programs ranging from general music that begins in kindergarten; band and string instrumental music lessons that start in fourth grade, and artists-in-residence who work with children in kindergarten through grade 12.

Most notable are the vast array of high school course offerings that include theater/technical theater, band, orchestra, music theory, music production, piano, music literature, painting, drawing, ceramics, photography, jewelry and metals, and traditional crafts.

Additionally, the department oversees after-school clubs at the elementary, middle and high school levels, including chorale, jazz band, dance team, step team, indoor percussion, color guard, art club, stage crew and more.

Students in each elementary grade level attend an arts-oriented field trip every year, designed to expose children to various art disciplines throughout their kindergarten through grade 12 journey.

And, each year, more than 25 art shows, concerts and stage shows are brought to the Parkland community and performed by all levels of students.

An annual Festival of the Arts is the culminating activity that showcases the entire arts department each May.

Dr. Mark Madson commented on Anonia’s appointment,

“Parkland’s Visual and Performing Arts Program is a flagship in our state and one that is a major source of pride in this community.

“Frank’s proven dedication to our students, his creativity and his amazing ability to mentor people will lead to his success in this new leadership position and we are thrilled to have him join our Administrative Team.”

Frank Anonia