LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Stacy Cianciulli

Position: Visual Arts Teacher
School: Rosemont Primary School
School District: Dallas Independent School District
City, State: Dallas, TX

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Stacy Cianciulli was nominated by Maria Teresa Pedroche, a member of the community.

Ms. Cianciulli has taught many subjects in the classroom for over 21 years. Her latest position is where she has made her greatest impact. As a Primary Art educator, she sets the tone for a child’s entire educational journey. Ms. Cianciulli believes her classroom is where confidence, soothing, and success begin. Students have the opportunity to express themselves and create, and the product they generate is always good. There is no wrong answer meriting low grades or poor evaluations.

Students are recognized for their effort, and they are encouraged to move forward express themselves. Students who sometimes struggle in other areas find their voice and discover their talent in Ms. Cianciulli's classroom.

"I have known a number of examples over the years of such students who were retained, reticent, and exhausted by the demands of math and reading, tests and homework, tutoring and pull-out groups. They found their intelligence - and thereby, their success - in art. Consequently, they could heal," Cianculli said.

Many students want more art in their lives and seek a spot in the after-school Art Club. Ms. Cianciulli offers three different clubs throughout the year, offering opportunities for gifted students, those who need art, and those who are passionate about art.

"Stacy goes above and beyond to bring students recognition by plastering our hallways and corridors with works created by her students. They receive applause from their homeroom teachers, compliments from the parents, and praise from community visitors," Pedroche said. 

Every year, she brings 125+ works of student art to the annual “Dia de los Ninos” Art exhibit hosted by the Office of Cultural Affairs’ venue, The Oak Cliff Cultural Center. She works to involve as many students as possible, boosting their confidence in who they are. Parents attend the reception and invite relatives and friends to see the show during the exhibition window. Parents beam with pride in their children’s abilities. She also provides this opportunity to other local public schools through a partnership she helps to run with a local eatery. This venue permits her to coordinate the display of a number of willing participants each year.

In addition to Rosemont Primary School, Ms. Cianciulli invited several local DISD elementary schools to bring their student works to hang in a designated space in the popular Bishop Arts restaurant, Eno’s. Each school is given an extended period to display their student works (much longer than the district’s two week show). It is a challenge for teachers to procure space in which to give students the opportunity for exposure and recognition. Ms. Cianciulli is grateful for the trust she has from Eno’s to provide this opportunity to many students across Oak Cliff. She is able to replicate the experience of success for students beyond Rosemont’s front doors.

Because of Ms. Cianciulli's diligence, Rosemont Primary School has forged a partnership with the Nasher Sculpture Center. The NSC has created a program called GROW affording a select number of students to enter the program in 2nd grade and “grow” through the program until 5th grade. Rosemont Primary School has entrusted Ms. Cianciulli with recruiting. She invites students, coordinates the audition and makes recommendations based on observations and classroom teacher input. Once her students are selected, Ms. Cianciulli accompanies them on multiple field trips throughout the year to study modern/contemporary sculpture in the museum setting. Students grow comfortable in this environment while gaining an understanding of the critical importance sculpture has for society.

"The intent is to eventually introduce this program to many schools, instill a much-needed appreciation of art in a great number of youth, and inspire work to preserve and/or generate it! Parents who have attended programs at the Nasher Sculpture Center have confirmed that Ms. Cianciulli has inspired them to gain knowledge to inspire their children to express themselves and share their enthusiasm in the arts." Pedroche said.

Some of Ms. Cianciulli's leadership roles include: secretary for Rosemont’s Climate & Culture Committee, co-author of K-5 Visual Art Curriculum for DISD, Learning Partners Site Coordinator 2008-2017, managing funds and guiding teachers in selecting meaningful arts programming for students, Grade Level Leader, PTA Historian, PTA Officer of Programs and many more.

Stacy’community connections include:

  • Eno’s Perennial Student Art Exhibit, Coordinator/Participant, 2011- present, provide opportunities to multiple neighborhood DISD schools to exhibit their student works for sustained lengths of time to a vast and varied public;
  • GROW Liaison and program coordinator, 2013 – present, coordinate application process (interest, appraisal, and auditions) for the Nasher/Rosemont partnership program, GROW, a 4 year museum study;
  • Nasher Sculpture Center’s Teacher Advisory Board Member, 2014- present;
  • Oak Cliff Cultural Center Art Gallery Exhibitor, 2007- present, display 125+ student works of art in the bi-annual Dia del Nino Art Show and provide reception for artists and their families;
  • Big Thought’s Teacher Advisory Board, 2011;
  • Curriculum Writer, Big Thought Summer Camp, 2013;
  • Better Block Project, 2010, recruited and coordinated Rosemont students to assist with the street painting of a “Mondrian Plaza” located at Montclair and Davis Streets;
  • 7th Street Arts Corridor Mural Project, 2009, liaison between Jason Roberts and neighborhood schools for student collaborative mural.

Her accolades include:

  • Fall 2016 - Guided 2 students to 1st & 2nd places in public libraries’ Dia de los Muertos Art Contest
  • Spring 2016 - Guided students to 1st place for each level (kinder, 1st, & 2nd) in DISD’s Anti-Bully Poster Design Contest
  • Fall 2015 - Neiman Marcus Holiday Window, Guided students in the creation of artworks to be used as backdrop for their downtown store window;
  • 2015 - Winner of the Dallas Rotary Club’s 1st Place Honor for the Elementary Division
  • Spring 2015 - Filmed by DISD’s Visual Art Department for use in teacher training
  • 2013 - Guided a student to 3rd place in Thanksgiving Square's Expressions Contest
  • 2007 - Guided two students to 1st place in Mayor Leppert’s Recycling Poster Design Contest.
  • 2017 - Teacher of the Year

She volunteers and shares with her community. Her pro bono work includes:

  • 2010-present, After-School Art Clubs;
  • 2016, Catechist at St. Elizabeth’s of Hungary Catholic Church;
  • 2016-present: Teaches sunday school at the Kessler Community Church
  • 2009- present, Jefferson Median Beautification Project, recruit volunteers, procure trees, and organize seasonal plantings of trees along the median;
  • 2010, Coordinated the creation of a 5’x5’ multi-media peace sign done by second graders to auction at the RECPTA fundraiser (earned $1700).

"Ms. Cianciulli is a LifeChanger who has transformed and inspired many in her schools she served and communities!" Pedroche said.