The Tuscaloosa City Board of Education voted to promote a leader at the Alberta School of Performing Arts to principal Tuesday night, bringing a new face to one of the system's crown jewels.

TASPA is a K-8 school that sharply focuses on visual and performing arts in addition to young students' other studies.

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Through third grade, TASPA students have a fairly standard curriculum but are regularly exposed to art forms such as theater, dance and music.

Beginning in fourth grade, students begin to focus on a particular art form, and by sixth grade, TCS says middle school students "experience a deep immersion in their fine arts specialties in addition to a rigorous, arts-infused core curriculum."

The board voted Tuesday to promote former assistant principal Chenale Taylor-Maye to replace Amy Tilford, who left the role in the fall for a job with the state Department of Education.

"As the newly named principal of the Alberta School of Performing Arts, I am elated to sustain an atmosphere of successful teaching and learning," Taylor-Maye said. "It is my hope to inspire every member of the faculty and staff to serve our students with the necessary competencies that will produce success. I have high expectations to empower teachers to be sure that all students are college and/or career ready, all while simultaneously being very intentional to make teaching and learning fun every day for both teachers and students."

TCS said Taylor-Maye was an educator for a decade before joining the system in Tuscaloosa four years ago. Here, she has held positions at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary, Southview Elementary, and TASPA.

TCS superintendent Mike Daria said Taylor-Maye is a perfect candidate for the position.

"Ms. Taylor-Maye surfaced in the selection process because of her strong instructional leadership, her vision for excellence, and her commitment to success for all students," Daria said. "She will continue the already strong progress that The Alberta School of Performing Arts is making. We are excited to have her in this new role as she works with the outstanding faculty/staff, students, families, and the community."

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