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President & Administrator
I was born and raised south of Carroll, Iowa and moved to Fort Dodge in June of 1994. In my first six months of employment with Sorenson Broadcasting, I created a program called "Students in the Arts" and proceeded to promote that program through the radio station, KVFD Radio. The program stemmed from a desire to fulfill a need of raising the importance of the Arts programs at our schools. The Students in the Arts Program was implemented in January of 1995 at Fort Dodge Senior High and Saint Edmond High School.
After the first six months, there was no doubt this program would continue in the future because of the warm acceptance from the instructors, schools and community. Each year another level of education was added; college, middle school, and eventually elementary. The program was a complete and inclusive program that inspired each student from kindergarten to college. The instructors choose the students each term who fit the criteria and our organization recognizes each level consistently with t-shirts, certificates and other additional items and experiences.
Our organization believes that students involved in the Arts will learn better in school, are more productive in their contribution to our community and have a more well-rounded life. Experiencing the Performing or Visual Arts programs can have a positive impact on their education and development. When I was growing up, we called it "getting cultured" and looking back now, I am so grateful for the exposure to the Arts I received in my younger years.
By combining the schools, the businesses and now social media, we have built a marketing program that benefits the entire system. I am so grateful for every business that helped support this program throughout the 25 years of existence. I am fortunate to have worked with the schools and instructors who partnered with us to recognize the youth. I appreciate the board of directors of SITA Foundation who share in the purpose and mission. Being dedicated to recognizing students involved in the Arts, has taken us from 1995 - 2020....from here we hope to impact other schools, other communities and students who are utilizing their talents to the best of their abilities.
The sita Board
Current Board Members Laura Stover, Robbie Kudra, Diane Macek and Jean Black
Betsy Duarte works in the financial industry in Seattle WA currently. In the 13 years that Betsy and her family lived in Fort Dodge, her boys received their start in the Arts. With an array of band, choir, film making and acting, her boys enjoy it all. Betsy and her husband Andrew of 21 years are super fans of everything Jake, Cooper and Ian are involved in. The family believes in the mission of the Students in the Arts Program because they have seen how the opportunities has enhanced their lives.
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