Perpich News

Conn McCartan Receives Fine Arts Recognition

June 17, 2020

Conn McCartan, Perpich Arts High School Principal, was honored with the Em Stark Dedication Award from Eden Prairie High School. The award is given annually by Eden Prairie Fine Arts faculty to a staff member who demonstrated a commitment to the arts programs at Eden Prairie High School during their tenure at the school. The award recognizes dedication, excellence, and service to the arts and activities programs. McCartan spent 14 years of his professional career as the principal of his alma mater, Eden Prairie High School (EPHS).

“Receiving this award carries special meaning to me,” said McCartan. “Em Stark was the musical director while I was a student at EPHS, so to receive an award that bears his name, knowing all that he gave to arts programs at EPHS, makes the recognition even more special.”

Presenting the award was Julie Kanthak, Director of Choral Programs at EPHS. “Conn is receiving this award because he, like Em Stark, values and is fully invested and understands the importance of music and art in a child’s education,” said Kanthak. “Conn took concrete action to support performing arts kids and did everything he could to help teachers to build authentic performance opportunities for all kids. Thank you, Conn McCartan, for helping us to build upon the music and theater program Em Stark entrusted to us so many decades ago. Like Em, you support us to grow into the exemplary program we are now. We have been changed by you for your work. We have all been changed for the greater good of our kids.”

Emmett (Em) Stark was instrumental to the arts programs in the Eden Prairie community. He directed bands at all levels in the Eden Prairie school system for 35 years, directed both adult and student theater productions, and started the marching band as the director in 1963, a role he held until 1986. Mr. Stark also chaired the Eden Prairie Performing Arts Committee.