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Christel House Academy Teacher Receives ARTI Arts Educator Award

Friday, September 2, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - Christel House Academy South (“CHAS”) art teacher, Mary Jo Bayliss, has been honored with the 2016 Excellence in Arts Education ARTI Award.  Criteria for selection include exemplary service, creativity, and passion in developing and educating young minds through the arts in the K-12 school system.

Since joining CHAS in August 2013, Mary Jo has excited and inspired at-risk, inner-city middle and high school students. Under her guidance their artwork has been featured in public shows at the Indianapolis Arts Garden, Ivy Tech Community College, Garfield Park, and the Indianapolis Public Library.  She is genuinely caring and compassionate. Mary Jo intentionally makes her art room a safe space for creative expression, and strives to know each student personally and completely to foster trust. Students know she believes in them, and as a result they tap into and express the deepest parts of themselves.

However, helping students learn life lessons through art is Mary Jo’s greatest contribution at CHAS. Emily Perry, a former student, says, “Through her I have learned that I should not be satisfied with one solution to anything and that there are always better paths to take. Now as I continue through life I can truly see the importance of this lesson and how it will make me become a successful and all around better person.”

Mary Jo Bayliss is truly an arts education champion, and CHAS congratulates her on this well-deserved honor.

About Christel House Academy
Established as a public charter school in 2002, Christel House Academy (CHA) today operates four schools in Indianapolis—CHA South, serving at-risk students in grades K-12; CHA West currently serving grades K-4, and two adult high schools, Christel House DORS South and Christel House DORS West. CHA provides a holistic human development approach that focuses on building strong character to complement each child’s rigorous academic foundation.  Through its College & Careers program, CHA continues to support its graduates through post-secondary education and job placement so they become self-sufficient, contributing members of society.

Christel House Academy South was Indiana’s first charter school to receive the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform’s “School to Watch” designation. Additional recognition includes the Indiana Achievement and Breakthrough Schools Awards. For more information, please visit