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Trustees Name Ryan High School Fine Arts Center for Jeannene Abney

The Denton ISD Board of School Trustees announced the official name of the Fine Arts Center at Ryan High School – the Jeannene Abney Fine Arts Center – honoring Jeannene Abney, who served as a theater director and teacher at Ryan High School from 1992 until her retirement in May.

Ms. Abney began her career in education in 1979, and she spent the entirety of her 31 years in Denton ISD at Ryan High School. Over the course of her career, Ms. Abney’s students represented Ryan High at the state and national level, competing and earning championships in UIL, Texans for the Arts (TFA), National Speech and Debate Association (NSDA) and the International Thespian Society (ISA).

”For over three decades, Jeannene Abney set the bar for excellence in the arts at Ryan High School,” said Vernon Reeves, Ryan High School principal. “Her achievements in theater and her dedication to her students are unparalleled. It is only fitting that the Fine Arts Center bears the name of such an inspiring and influential educator."

Ms. Abney started her career in Fruitvale ISD in 1979 as an elementary teacher. In 1981, she moved to Northwest ISD, where she taught for the next 10 years. Ms. Abney taught for a year in Birdville ISD before joining Denton ISD in 1992.

Ms. Abney spent a total of 44 years in public education. In 2013, she was named Denton ISD’s Secondary Teacher of the Year by her peers.

The Fine Arts Center at Ryan High School that now bears Ms. Abney’s name was funded by the 2018 capital improvement plan, which was overwhelmingly approved by district voters. The Jeannene Abney Fine Arts Center seats 750 and has a 5,000-square foot stage, fully programmable LED stage lighting and a grand lobby with fully programmable lighting that includes a 1,000-square foot art gallery for student exhibits.

“This means the world to me,” Ms. Abney said. “I am so humbled by this experience and recognition for being allowed to do the work I love to do. This is such an incredible honor and privilege.”