Three Irvine arts educators named tops in Orange County at annual awards ceremony


A trio of IUSD educators earned top honors this week at the 2011 Orange County Music and Arts Education Awards.

Zach Halop, the choir director at Northwood High School, was recognized for vocal music at the secondary level during a special ceremony on Monday night, while University High drama teacher Ranae Bettger was honored for secondary theater. Brad Van Patten, the district’s coordinator of visual and performing arts, was named the top arts administrator in Orange County.

“I’m very fortunate to work here,” Van Patten said afterward. “I work with great people and great students.”

Presented by Orange County Music and Arts Administrators with support from the SMART Foundation, the Orange County Music and Arts Educator Awards annually spotlight exemplary teachers and administrators who oversee instrumental, vocal, theater, dance and visual arts programs at schools throughout the county. This year’s ceremony was staged in the Samueli Theater, located at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

Halop, Bettger and Van Patten were also recognized at the event as 2011 Outstanding Art Educators, along with College Park Elementary School’s Alyssa Honeycutt and Northwood High’s Katie Hackett, who teaches art and photography.