Center of Excellence for the Arts

The Center of Excellence for the 
Visual and Performing Arts at Churchland High School
“Home of the Truckers”  

4301 Cedar Lane Portsmouth, Virginia 23703 

757.686.2500 - Office 757.686.2504 - Fax  

Mr. Shawn L. Millaci, Principal 

Dear Center of Excellence Applicant, 

The Center of Excellence for the Visual and Performing Arts at Churchland High School offers unique  opportunities for students who are interested in the visual arts, drama, dance, or music. The Center of  Excellence offers two tracks for students with an interest in the visual and performing arts.  

The Visual Arts at Churchland High School offers two paths into our Center of Excellence: 

1. Visual and Performing Arts Academies – In-Zone and Out-of-zone students interested in studying a wide  variety of art elective classes in high school. Visual art classes address 2D and 3D design as well as  ceramics, photography, graphic design and animation. Performing arts classes include vocal and  instrumental music, dance, and drama. Requirements include a completed application, excellent attendance  record, good grades, no behavioral issues, and a keen and serious interest in the visual or performing arts.  For instrumental, dance, and vocal, this generally includes evidence of consistent involvement in the  applied field of interest for two consecutive years. If accepted, the student becomes a full-time Churchland  High School Trucker and must sign up for at least one arts class every semester (2 classes per year). Arts  Academy students will be required to participate in extracurricular/afterschool programs and contests in  their selected program. If the student declines at any time, he or she will be returned to his or her zoned  high school. 

2. Visual Art Scholar Honors – In-Zone & Out-of-Zone students must apply for acceptance into this  weighted-grade class. Accepted students will be a part of a more rigorous program in both studio art and  art history classes. Students will participate in a wide range of academic studies, complete 15 hours of art related community service, and travel to various museums and art schools. The Art Scholars track is for  those students who are interested and highly motivated to study art history or major in or pursue a career  in visual arts. The course work is carefully structured to maximize college preparation and career potential. To apply, each student will present their artwork in either a Google Slide or PowerPoint Presentation if in person interviews are not possible. Students will submit an application, attendance and grades, personal  essay, and 2 references. Questions about the Art Scholars program can be directed to our Art Scholars  instructors, Ms. Jamie Cosumano (, or Mr. Larry Johnson  (  

We anticipate additional Performing Arts Scholar Honors courses in the future as all of our programs  continue to grow.  

Applications to take any classes that are part of The Center of Excellence at Churchland High School are  available to any Portsmouth student that will be in high school next fall. Students who are zoned for 

another high school and are accepted into The Center of Excellence at Churchland High School, you may  receive a zone wavier and be provided transportation from your home to Churchland High School.  

The application packet can be picked up from your middle school or high school guidance office beginning  the first week of April. Complete packets for all students should include the Center of Excellence Application, a completed zone waiver form (if students are zoned for another high school), transcripts,  discipline records, attendance records, and SOL scores. Students who are applying for the advanced Art  Scholars Program should also provide recommendation forms from two teachers that have taught you this  school year, and a letter explaining why you would like to be a part of the Churchland High School Center of  Excellence. This letter must be typed or handwritten neatly, and contain at least three paragraphs.  

Please return the completed packet of items to your school counselor or to the Churchland High School  counseling office by May 28th, 2021. Once the applications have been reviewed, you will be contacted by  phone and a date will be set for your portfolio review, interview, or audition. For additional questions  about visual arts, please contact Ms. Melanie Graham, Department Chair (,  and for questions about performing arts, please contact Ms. Jennelle Burden, Assistant Principal (  


Shawn L. Millaci 

Mr. Shawn L. Millaci, Principal 

Churchland High School

Apply Now
Center of Excellence Application 2021-2022.pdf

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