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PAUSD Arts Education

PAUSD supports a broad range of arts programs, in all four arts disciplines, K-12. These programs are coordinated and overseen by two arts coordinators.

Sharon Ferguson, Visual Art Coordinator


Sharon coordinates, SPECTRA, the elementary art program and staff, providing visual arts instruction to PAUSD’s 12 Elementary schools. She also serves in an instructional leadership capacity by mentoring teachers and assisting in curriculum development for PAUSD’s 3 Middle and 2 High School’s Arts teachers. She maintains community partnerships and coordinates “Youth Art,” a K-12 Art Show at the Palo Alto Art Center each May.


I was fortunate to be born into a family that included those who liked to make art. From an early age I was compelled to be a part of that world and nothing interested me more. There was precious little art education in the Catholic schools I attended growing up in New Jersey, but I found some kindred spirits, who joined forces to pursue accomplishment in visual arts. After attending State Colleges in New Jersey and California, I found a second passion, teaching. That discovery eventually led me to Palo Alto after over 20 years of teaching and coordinating art in East Side San Jose.

I believe in art as communication and a path to understanding. Art allows us to create personal and collective meaning and is part of what makes us literate in the 21st Century. All people have the right to creative expression and, like other intellectual endeavors we value, we have to provide opportunity and instruction of the highest quality, in that endeavor, for all students. I am committed to this mission as PAUSD’s Art Coordinator.


25 Churchill Ave., Portable C
Palo Alto, CA 94306
(650) 329-3939

Emily MarshallEmily Marshall,
Art Education Secretary

Nancy Coffey, Music Coordinator


Nancy manages a team of 25 credentialed music teachers at 17 sites, K-12.


Nancy was born and raised in central Ohio. She attended the Ohio State University where she majored in music education as a clarinetist. She received her Master’s from the University of Cincinnati, College Conservatory of Music in Clarinet performance. While in Ohio she performed with the Cincinnati Symphony and The Dayton Philharmonic.

She moved to Sacramento with her husband in 1986 and quickly began playing clarinet for the Sacramento Symphony. She started teaching elementary and middle school band for the Folsom Cordova Unified School District in 1988. In 1999, she was appointed as the Music Coordinator for the Folsom Cordova School District and moved to Palo Alto in her current position in 2002.

Nancy currently plays clarinet with the Palo Alto Philharmonic and enjoys cooking and spending time with family.


(650) 329 3944

Phyllis Smith, Music Department Secretary