GUEST COLUMN: By Kirk Koennecke, Indian Hill School District Superintendent

INDIAN HILL, OH (March 31,2020) – At the Indian Hill School District, distance learning is our new, albeit temporary, delivery of educational services. As an organization, we are embracing this challenge and innovating ways to be educational leaders on this front. During the first days of our closure, it was our music education faculty who stepped up, and using social media, began to record videos of performance – vocal and instrumental – to share their talent and their hope with all of our Braves.

Kirk Konnecke, Indian Hill School District Superintendent

Brave art, indeed; they inspire us all.

From the stage to the easel, the Indian Hill School District offers unparalleled opportunities to our students in the arts. From Primary Players at Indian Hill Primary School to Pow Wow performances at Indian Hill High School, and at every building in between, we want to share with you what makes our art education program uniquely Indian Hill.

Welcome to Portrait of a Brave – Brave Arts – in our continuing State of the Schools video series, which can be accessed on the District website “About” section ( 

Click here to watch: in this episode, which was recorded just prior to our 2020 Pow Wow and before our mandated campus closure, we take an in-depth look at our art education program in three parts: Vocal and Theatre Performance; Visual Art; and Orchestra and Band.

Vocal & Theatre Performance – Phantom Set 2020 (Provided) 

Vocal and Theatre Performance

Indian Hill begins stage productions with our youngest Braves at Indian Hill Primary School, and they grow in vocal performance and theatre at each building in the District. At Indian Hill Middle School and Indian Hill High School, a combined 320 students participate in our vocal and theatre programs! This school year, our Premieres earned Superior ratings in the top AA division at the Ohio Music Education Association’s Large Group contest, a division that typically is reserved for the largest high schools in the state.

Indian Hill Visual Art 2020 (Provided) 

Visual Art

Taught as a visual language, visual art is an important part of our curriculum at the Indian Hill School District from kindergarten through grade 12. At Indian Hill High School, we offer nine courses covering eight disciplines in addition to Advanced Placement courses in Studio Art and Art History. This year, our Indian Hill Middle School and Indian Hill High School students earned 22 Scholastic Art Awards, and five submissions earned highest possible regional recognition – Gold – and advanced to the national competition in New York City. We’ve also had an Overture Awards semifinalist the past three years, with two of those moving to the finals.

Brave Art- Orchestra & Band 2020 (Provided) 

Orchestra and Band

When it comes to music education, the Indian Hill School District is one of the best in the nation; so says the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM). The NAMM Foundation has awarded Indian Hill a Best Communities for Music Education five consecutive years. Indian Hill was one of only 623 districts in the country to earn this recognition! Part of our award-winning program includes early exposure to music education. Every fifth-grade student plays a band or orchestra instrument. We have 319 students from Indian Hill Middle School and Indian Hill High School who perform with orchestra and band.


When we developed the idea of a video series to run this year to present our State of the Schools, we never could have known we would be navigating this current new normal. Seeing these spectacular students and their outstanding educators again, if only on video, filled my heart with joy. I hope it evokes a similar emotion within you. Please enjoy the Portrait of a Brave: Brave Arts video, and hear directly from our students and our teachers what makes our program so uniquely Indian Hill.

In service to our children,

Kirk Koennecke
Indian Hill School District

About Indian Hill Schools

Ranked consistently as one of the top-performing schools in Ohio and nationally – the vision of the Indian Hill Exempted Village School District (IHEVSD) is Enduring Excellence in Learning, Leadership, Innovation, and Service.

Click here for more about Indian Hill Schools