After serving for 15 years as the Executive Director at the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts, Patrick Widhalm is honored and excited to be moving into the leadership role at the state's top performing high school - Benjamin Franklin High School in New Orleans.
He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance and prior administrative appointments include the Conservatory of Music at Capital University (Columbus, Ohio) and founding Dean of Arts and Academics at the South Carolina Governor’s School for Arts and Humanities (Greenville, South Carolina).
Dr. Widhalm is an appointed member of the Louisiana State Arts Council; served for six years as vice-chair for education on the Louisiana Partnership for the Arts Board of Directors, and liaison for the state’s affiliation with the Kennedy Center Arts Education Network; and led the Louisiana team selected to participate in the 2008 Education Leaders Institute sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts. In October 2009, he received the Louisiana Culture Award for “Education Innovator” and he has participated in “Leadership Louisiana.”
Growing up in Nebraska, Pat credits public school music programs for a personal and career path that has been satisfying and rewarding. He is married to Betsy Allums Widhalm, from Shreveport who is also a musician with a mid-life career change into law. They have two daughters; one is a Public Defender in Natchitoches Parish and the other is a librarian and musician in Austin, Texas.