Winston School teacher selected to judge national youth arts contest

Winston School teacher Dan Peragine
Winston School teacher Dan Peragine

Veteran Winston School visual and digital arts teacher Dan Peragine was selected to be one of eight judges for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) “Learning in the Arts for Children & Youth.” Not-for-profits across the country compete in the annual learning arts grants program.

Peragine’s panel was one of nine panels tasked with reviewing 700 applications submitted in 2010. NEA will announce grant recipients in April 2011. Peragine recently returned from Washington DC where he and fellow panelists spent five days judging their category’s 150 applications from arts and cultural organizations, school districts, youth service and community groups with specific projects.

For 22 years, Peragine has taught visual and digital arts at The Winston School (, a college preparatory program for bright, creative students in grades 4 through 12, who have struggled to meet their potential. He also is a founding instructor in the school’s summer arts program focused on developing student creativity in visual arts, drama, digital arts or music. During the three-week program, students produce a finished product and integrate their work with artists in other media such as a concert, a performance, or a film premiere.

“It is an honor and a privilege to have been selected to serve on a NEA panel,” Peragine said. “The experience highlighted great programs happening around the country, from New York’s inner city to the Hawaiian Islands. He added that he found the scope of submissions and the people served to be “moving and endearing” and felt the grant program further illuminates the importance of arts in a community.

“The visual and performing arts touch lives of all ages and backgrounds, instills critical thinking and creative problem solving, builds communities as well as brighten the lives of all who embrace the arts.”

The Winston School’s Headmaster Mike Peterson said Peragine’s selection wasn’t a surprise. “Dan has helped build The Winston School’s art program into one of the best student programs in San Diego. His professional experience as an award-winning sculptor and painter, his extensive involvement in the local art community and his ability to relate to and guide students make him a tremendously valuable and respected teacher. These same qualities also made him as an excellent panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts grant selection program.”



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