Roger Dearing Heart of the Arts Award

Program Overview

The FHSAA has developed the Roger Dearing Heart of the Arts Award, which will be conferred to one (1) winner at the FHSAA’s annual Florida Dairy Farmer’s Academic All-State Banquet each June. This award honors individual(s) who epitomize the “Heart of the Arts.” The recipient must be an individual from a FHSAA member high school and could be any student, adult or group associated with the school’s performing arts program. This award covers a plethora of performing arts disciplines: Music, Speech, Debate, Theatre, Visual Arts and other performing arts activities that your school may sponsor. A student winner will receive a $1,500 scholarship from the FHSAA. If a teacher or school administrator win the award, their program will receive a $1,500 donation from the FHSAA.


This award seeks to recognize those individuals who exemplify the ideals of the positive heart of the arts that represent the core mission of education-based activities. The award may be given in recognition of a specific act or for an activity of longer duration.


For example, it could be awarded to an individual (or group) that:


  • has demonstrated exemplary “heart,” sportsmanship and/or citizenship in participation as it should occur;
  • has exceeded normal expectations in assisting others within the school or community; or
  • has overcome adversity or a challenging circumstance.


In the instance of a student, that student must be in good academic standing within his or her respective high school. Among the qualifying criteria that will be used are the students grade-point average, the activities in which he or she is involved, and community involvement. Other candidates should possess similar positive character traits, such as a high level of integrity and ethics.


The nomination must be for something that occurred between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019. Nominated individuals do not necessarily need to still be enrolled in high school at the time of the nomination.


Nomination forms will be due to the FHSAA no later than January 8, 2020. It may be submitted electronically by completing the form and e-mailing it to FHSAA Marketing Specialist, Quinten Ershock, at qershock [at] fhsaa [dot] org.


The winner of the Roger Dearing Heart of the Arts Award will be submitted to the National Federation of State High School Athletic Associations (NFHS) as the FHSAA’s nomination for the NFHS Heart of the Arts Award.  If chosen as an NFHS Section and/or National Award Recipient, the winner will be publicized in an NFHS press release, as well as in High School Today.


In addition, the national winner will be recognized in person at the NFHS Summer Meeting. Information regarding the national recipient will be included in a video that will be shown there.


Information regarding the section winners will also be included in a video that will be shown there.