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National High School Heart of the Arts Award
National High School Heart of the Arts Award
Lori Faulkner
Tuesday, April 30, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (March 12, 2019) — Nathanael Batson, a student at Lawrence High School in Fairfield, Maine, has been selected as the 2019 Section 1 recipient of the “National High School Heart of the Arts Award” by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).

The National High School Heart of the Arts Award was created by the NFHS to recognize those individuals who exemplify the ideals of the positive heart of the arts that represent the core mission of education-based activities. This is the sixth year that the National High School Heart of the Arts Award has been offered.

Batson, who is blind as the result of a brain tumor, has not allowed that to define him or to restrict his numerous pursuits.

A senior trumpet player in the Lawrence High School band, Batson made the Kennebec Valley Music Educators’ Association (KVMEA) Band every year and the All-State Band as a sophomore. Batson memorizes all of his music and is well-known for his stirring performances of the Star-Spangled Banner at various school, civic and community events.

Throughout his life, Batson has battled severe health challenges, including almost losing his life during his junior year. Undaunted, he worked hard to overcome that, succeeded in making first chair in KVMEA and subsequently placed in the All-State Band this year.

Outside of music, Batson achieved the vaunted rank of Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America during his early teens by organizing a Pops Band that performed a free concert at the Maine Veterans’ Home in Augusta. He also participated in the 2017 National Scout Jamboree Band in West Virginia that performed for more than 40,000 people from around the world.


 About the Award

The NFHS divides the nation into eight geographical sections. The states in Section 1 are Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey.

Nominations for this award were generated through NFHS member state associations and reviewed by the NFHS Heart of the Arts Award Selection Committee composed of state association staff members.

While the national winner will be recognized June 29 at the NFHS Summer Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, the section winners will be recognized within their respective states and will receive awards before the end of the current school year.


About the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)

The NFHS, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is the national leadership organization for high school sports and fine arts activities. Since 1920, the NFHS has led the development of education-based interscholastic sports and fine arts activities that help students succeed in their lives. The NFHS sets direction for the future by building awareness and support, improving the participation experience, establishing consistent standards and rules for competition, and helping those who oversee high school sports and activities. The NFHS writes playing rules for 17 sports for boys and girls at the high school level. Through its 50 member state associations and the District of Columbia, the NFHS reaches more than 19,000 high schools and 11 million participants in high school activity programs, including more than 7.9 million in high school sports. As the recognized national authority on interscholastic activity programs, the NFHS conducts national meetings; sanctions interstate events; produces publications for high school coaches, officials and athletic directors; sponsors professional organizations for high school coaches, officials, spirit coaches, speech and debate coaches and music adjudicators; serves as the national source for interscholastic coach training; and serves as a national information resource of interscholastic athletics and activities. For more information, visit the NFHS website at