The Texas City ISD Fine Arts Department will identify and nurture each individual’s artistic talents to the fullest and develop a strong sense of personal pride in the hearts and minds of all TCISD students. This will be accomplished by providing creative stimulation, personal enrichment, and cultural appreciation outside of the academic world and the traditional classroom setting. Our performing & visual arts programs will broaden students' horizons with the rich history and ethnic culture of various artistic genres.
The mission of the Texas City ISD Fine Arts Department is to provide a curriculum that is aligned, assessed and performance-based in performing and visual arts. We will maximize learning through performance and exhibition in order to create an atmosphere of success where all students will reach their highest potential. We will also develop a strong work ethic which will transfer to academics, athletics and career choices.
Mark Lyon was hired on May 16, 2019, as the Director of Fine Arts.
“Mr. Lyon brings more than 12 years of administrative experience to Texas City ISD,” said Superintendent Dr. Rodney Cavness. “We believe that he will be able to jump right in to continue to make enhancements to our award-wining fine arts program.”
As a fine arts director, Lyon has supervised up to 150 employees with 28,000 students in art, band, choir, mariachi, harp, guitar, piano, jazz band and pop ensembles, theatre, JROTC, dance, color guard, majorettes and other ensembles.
He is originally from Bloomington, IL where he grew up playing the trombone. His junior year in High School he was offered a scholarship to attend the world famous Interlochen Arts Academy in Interlochen, MI. Here he was introduced to music of all styles. He was accepted into Manhattan School of Music where he studied with world renown trombonist Steve Turre of the Saturday Night Live Band. He did additional coursework at the University of Miami where he studied both Classical and Jazz Performance.He has a degree in Music Performance and a Masters in Music Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
He has performed professionally with greats like Lionel Hampton, Stanley Turrentine, Maceo Parker, The Ojays and others as well as leading his own jazz group.In 2010 he recorded his own CD titled Uvalde Blues. He was the Music Director for several ships for Royal Caribbean International for four years and he lived in Las Vegas and played in many shows and with many bands before beginning his career in education in 2005. Lyon was the Fine Arts Director in Uvalde CISD for 5 years before being recruited to work as the Executive Director of Fine Arts in Ector County ISD, where’s he been since 2015.
“We welcome the Lyon family to Texas City ISD. With the hiring of Mr. Lyon, we also get his wife, who is an accomplished choir director at Permian High School,” said Dr. Cavness. Suvanna Lyon is also considering a position in Texas City ISD. They have two children, a 4-year-old son a 1-year-old daughter.
August 8, 2019
The Texas Art Education Association (TAEA) announced the 20 winners of the District of Distinction Award. Among the list of honorees is the Texas City Independent School District. The district received the honor for providing a well-rounded education that advocates and integrates visual arts curriculum to inspire creativity and reach all different learners.
TAEA is the leading advocate for the visual arts in the state. The organization has previously honored outstanding TAEA members for work in their classrooms and districts. This is the first year that TAEA is honoring districts that meet rigorous criteria as evidenced from data.
For the 2019 award, more than 1,000 districts were eligible to apply. Each district submitted documentation that they had met the rubric over the 2018-2019 school year. Only 20 districts met the high standard and will receive the outstanding honor indicating they are in the top 2 percent of districts in the state.
“Texas City ISD has set the standard for visual arts advocacy, integrated visual arts curriculum and creativity,” said Dr. Michaelann Kelley, Chair of the Administration and Supervision Division of TAEA. “This is a high honor. The award is a testament to the skill, perseverance, and vision for a well-rounded education for this winning school district.”
“Our TCISD visual arts in both La Marque and Texas City has proven to be a very valuable part of our fine arts program,” said TCISD Superintendent Dr. Rodney Cavness. They compete and win in major art shows in our area and around the state. We are excited that the Texas Art agency recognizes our exceptional program.”
District of Distinction is a new award created by Texas Art Education Association. The Administration and Supervision division oversees the award program. The award honors school districts that are leading the way in the visual arts. The TAEA Administration and Supervision recognize districts with outstanding leadership in promoting the arts in their district and community. TAEA looked to identify districts that are actively participating members in the TAEA in areas such as VASE, Junior VASE, and TEAM as a few examples. The organization also looked at field experiences, community service, and community exhibitions to name a few as part of the rigorous rubric.
Twenty districts, including Texas City ISD will be honored at the TAEA Awards ceremony as part of the TAEA Conference on Friday, November 15, 2019. The event will take place at Moody Gardens Convention Center in Galveston, TX.
April 8, 2020
The Texas City Independent School District has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education.
Now in its 21st year, the Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. To qualify for the Best Communities designation, Texas City ISD answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music programs, Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.
“Music education, like all fine arts education, gives students avenues for success and creativity in TCISD,” said Texas City ISD Fine Arts Director Mark Lyon. “Creative and inventive thinking offer keys for success for students entering college or the workforce. We also give students groups to be part of and a reasons to come to school and be successful in all areas. Giving a student an instrument or helping them find their voice gives them an opportunity for expression and an outlet for their emotions.”
This award recognizes that Texas City ISD is leading the way with learning opportunities as outlined in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The legislation guides implementation in the states and replaces the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) which was often criticized for an overemphasis on testing-while leaving behind subjects such as music. ESSA recommends music and the arts as important elements of a well-rounded education for all children.
Lyon said, “Our success this year at competitions was a great representation of our community. Both high schools and their feeders had new levels of success at competitions. This gives us recognition and opportunities for our students. We also open the doors for college and career readiness by giving students opportunities in the arts.”
Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music. After two years of music education, research found that participants showed more substantial improvements in how the brain processes speech and reading scores that their less-involved peers and that students who are involved in music are not only more likely to graduate high school, but also to attend college as well. Everyday listening skills are stronger in musically-trained children that in those without music training. Significantly, listening skills are closely tied to the ability to: perceive speech in a noisy background, pay attention, and keep sounds in memory. Later in life, individuals who took music lessons as children show stronger neural processing of sound; young adults and even older adults who have not played an instrument for up to 50 years show enhanced neural processing compared to their peers. Not to mention, social benefits include conflict resolution, teamwork skills, and how to give and receive constructive criticism.
A 2015 study supported by The NAMM Foundation, “Striking A Chord,” also outlines the overwhelming desire by teachers and parents for music education opportunities for all children as part of the school curriculum.
“Receiving the Best Community in Music Education Award from NAMM gives us national recognition and bragging rights as one of the top music education districts in the country, Lyon said. “This award, along with our Texas Art Education Association's "District of Distinction," shows the district’s commitment to the arts and the hard work of our teachers and students. We are the best of the best!”
Texas City ISD provides music programs from the elementary level to high school. Band and Choir are introduced at the intermediate level with additional options beginning in middle school and continuing through high school such as show choir, jazz band, vocal jazz and mariachi.
About The NAMM Foundation
The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its approximately 10,400 members around the world. The foundation advances active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving, and public service programs. For more information about the NAMM Foundation, please visit www.nammfoundation.org.
Fine Arts Feature
Watch this video on a special feature on the theatre program. You can find more fine arts features on our YouTube Channel.