WESLACO INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT FINE ARTS

About Weslaco ISD Fine Arts

Fine Arts Staff

Weslaco ISD Fine Arts Department

Ron Bissett, Fine Arts Coordinator

E-Mail: rbissett@wisd.us

Fine Arts Secretary: Yesenia Rodriguez

E-Mail: ylrodriguez@wisd.us

Office Phone: 956-969-7117


BIOGRAPHY

Ron Bissett is currently the Fine Arts Coordinator for The Weslaco Independent School District. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene with a major in trumpet and voice, as well as, a Master of Music degree from Texas A & I University in Kingsville with a major in Education. Ron has also taken doctoral classes and participated in seminars at The University of Texas at Austin and East Texas State University in wind ensemble conducting.

Ron began his band directing career as an Assistant Band Director at Weslaco High School in 1987, directing bands at all levels for Weslaco ISD. He was then named Director of Bands and Instrumental Music at Weslaco East High School when East opened its doors in 2002. Ron held this position until June of 2017 when he became the Fine Arts Coordinator for Weslaco ISD. He is a member of The RGV Fine Arts Administrators Association. The Texas Music Administrators Conference, The Texas Music Educators Association, and The Texas Music Adjudicators Association. Ron has conducted clinics and is active as a judge throughout the state of Texas.

Throughout his music career Ron has performed in England, France, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, as well as, here in the US in Atlanta, New Orleans, Nashville, Dallas and for the 1984 Olympics held in Los Angeles. Ron has directed and had lead roles in various musicals and stage productions and has been part of several recording projects.

Fine Arts Mission Statement

At Weslaco ISD we empower students to reach their full potential through a solid well-rounded education. This includes a strong foundation in the fine arts. We offer a comprehensive fine arts program that includes award winning band, choir, orchestra, dance, theatre and visual art programs from 6th through 12th grade. In addition, we have mariachi at the high school level, as well as, elementary music and visual art programs Kindergarten through 5th grade.

Studies show that students involved in the arts tend to be better performers in school. Our students consistently earn distinction at both local and statewide events. We take pride in placing our students on stage putting them in the spot-light as they develop their creative talents for a bright and successful future.

Why Study The Arts?

TOP 10 SKILLS CHILDREN LEARN FROM THE ARTS:

You don’t find school reformers talking much about how we need to train more teachers in the arts, given

the current obsession with science, math, technology and engineering (STEM), but here’s a list of skills that

young people learn from studying the arts. They serve as a reminder that the arts — while important to

study for their intrinsic value — also promote skills seen as important in academic and life success. (That’s

why some people talk about changing the current national emphasis on STEM to STEAM.) This was written

by Lisa Phillips is an author, blog journalist, arts and leadership educator, speaker and business owner and

appeared on the ARTSblog, a program of Americans for the Arts.

By Lisa Phillips

1. Creativity – Being able to think on your feet, approach tasks from different perspectives and think

‘outside of the box’ will distinguish your child from others. In an arts program, your child will be asked to

recite a monologue in 6 different ways, create a painting that represents a memory, or compose a new

rhythm to enhance a piece of music. If children have practice thinking creatively, it will come naturally to

them now and in their future career.

2. Confidence – The skills developed through theater, not only train you how to convincingly deliver

a message, but also build the confidence you need to take command of the stage. Theater training gives

children practice stepping out of their comfort zone and allows them to make mistakes and learn from them

in rehearsal. This process gives children the confidence to perform in front of large audiences.

3. Problem Solving – Artistic creations are born through the solving of problems. How do I turn this clay

into a sculpture? How do I portray a particular emotion through dance? How will my character react in this

situation? Without even realizing it kids that participate in the arts are consistently being challenged to solve

problems. All this practice problem solving develops children’s skills in reasoning and understanding. This

will help develop important problem-solving skills necessary for success in any career.

4. Perseverance – When a child picks up a violin for the first time, she/he knows that playing Bach right

away is not an option; however, when that child practices, learns the skills and techniques and doesn’t give

up, that Bach concerto is that much closer. In an increasingly competitive world, where people are being

asked to continually develop new skills, perseverance is essential to achieving success.

5. Focus – The ability to focus is a key skill developed through ensemble work. Keeping a balance between

listening and contributing involves a great deal of concentration and focus. It requires each participant to not

only think about their role, but how their role contributes to the big picture of what is being created. Recent

research has shown that participation in the arts improves children’s abilities to concentrate and focus in

other aspects of their lives.

6. Non-Verbal Communication – Through experiences in theater and dance education, children learn

to breakdown the mechanics of body language. They experience different ways of moving and how those

movements communicate different emotions. They are then coached in performance skills to ensure they

are portraying their character effectively to the audience.

7. Receiving Constructive Feedback – Receiving constructive feedback about a performance or visual

art piece is a regular part of any arts instruction. Children learn that feedback is part of learning and it is not

something to be offended by or to be taken personally. It is something helpful. The goal is the improvement

of skills and evaluation is incorporated at every step of the process. Each arts discipline has built in

parameters to ensure that critique is a valuable experience and greatly contributes to the success of the final piece.

8. Collaboration – Most arts disciplines are collaborative in nature. Through the arts, children practice

working together, sharing responsibility, and compromising with others to accomplish a common goal.

When a child has a part to play in a music ensemble, or a theater or dance production, they begin to

understand that their contribution is necessary for the success of the group. Through these experiences

children gain confidence and start to learn that their contributions have value even if they don’t have the

biggest role.

9. Dedication – When kids get to practice following through with artistic endeavors that result in a

finished product or performance, they learn to associate dedication with a feeling of accomplishment. They

practice developing healthy work habits of being on time for rehearsals and performances, respecting the

contributions of others, and putting effort into the success of the final piece. In the performing arts, the

reward for dedication is the warm feeling of an audience’s applause that comes rushing over you, making all

your efforts worthwhile.

10. Accountability – When children practice creating something collaboratively they get used to the idea

that their actions affect other people. They learn that when they are not prepared or on-time, that other

people suffer. Through the arts, children also learn that it is important to admit that you made a mistake and

take responsibility for it. Because mistakes are a regular part of the process of learning in the arts, children

begin to see that mistakes happen. We acknowledge them, learn from them and move on.

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