Although he isn’t a formal teacher, Zack Smith has changed the lives of students throughout the years. He has saved my love of music by introducing jazz into mine-and others lives. He has taught us that jazz isn’t just about swinging notes, or chords that give you a chill down your spine. It is about expression, finding who you are in those chords, or those swinging notes. He taught us to learn how to be confident and gave us the tools to succeed In music; and in life. He is a musician who reaches out into the community- who rises above and helps others. Mr. Smith is someone everyone should look to as a musician, teacher, and advisor. He is the reason I listen to music, and he is the way hundreds of kids have found passion in music, and I for one, am forever grateful.
Mr Aich is more than your regular teacher. He’s a teacher that cares. He teaches my choir class and honestly if it wasn’t for that time of the day I wouldn’t feel happy about going to school everyday. Mr Aich is a genuinely amazing teacher and I believe he deserves this.
Mr. Aich puts his heart and soul into teaching music to his choir kids. He has unique practices that I’ve not seen any other choir directors utilize, for example, every student is taught what the note A is without a source to listen too. They sing a capella this way. He encourages and inspires his students to follow their dreams. He is always available to help out when needed. He takes after school hours to cater to student needs with a smile. Mr. Aich has been teaching for many years now and still has a passion for his students and music.
Mr. Aich is sich an amazing person he puts his entire heart and soul into teaching. He has helped me through so many tough times and makes me feel appreciated and needed EVERY single day. If there was just one word to describe him it would be extraordinary!
I nominate Mr. Aich because in my past 2 years of choir he has taught me to sing the right notes to sing and has taught me sight reading and I’m so glad that I have Mr. Aich as my teacher so I decided to nominate him and I will always cherish the moments I have with him through out highschool and the rest of this year in middle school
A good teacher is hard to find, but when you find one you feel lucky. I felt lucky when I walked into my first day of middle school choir a few years ago. Mr. Aich is the type of teacher who is also your best friend, he wants what is best. He doesn’t make choir feel like a class, he makes it feel like a family. Mr. Aich has always tried his best to improve his multiple choirs to their fullest potential, including each individual person. That means trying new things and sacrifices. Mr. Aich deserves the best teacher award.
I’ve been in choir now with him as the director for 3 years now and choir is always the part of the day I look forward too. Mr Aich is my favorite teacher and music is so important to me, and he has really helped me succeed in everything music. Even though I’m not going into college for music, I’m still grateful to be a part of our choir family, and hope to never forget the times with them and Mr. Aich.
Mr. Aich has made choir such a fun experience for my middle and high school career. He has been an amazing mentor and has inspired me to go into music education as a career.
He is amazing
I don’t know how to explain Mrs. Parrott in 1000 characters or less but I’m going to do my best. Mrs Parrott is one of the most amazing people I have ever met in my life. She is everything a good teacher is compassionate, funny, doesn’t take funny business and everything else. She has helped me and supported me more than any other adult figure in my life. She taught me how to love myself and how to love the people around me but also taught me to stand up for myself and not let people walk all over me. She has created one of the safest environments for our high school and makes it so that instead of waking up everyday dreading school I was excited to go back to my safe place with my safe people. I love Mrs Parrott and she deserves to be the teacher of all of existence not even just the week!
Mrs. Parrott has been such an amazing, hard working, and inspiring teacher for me for the last three years. She has been fighting through every challenge and roadblock that has been thrown at her and I admire her infinitely for that. She makes me feel like I can be a successful musician by putting in effort and passion in what I do. She has given me, and hundreds of other students, a place where I feel completely relaxed to just exist, learn, and grow as a musician and as a person. I can’t imagine high school or choir without her laugh and vibrant energy. Someday, when I become a choir teacher, I hope to be as loving and magical her. I love you Parrott!!
Mrs. Parrott is an absolutely fantastic teacher and an even more amazing person. I will forever be grateful of how accepting and loving she is and how willing she is to welcome students from all walks of life into her classroom. The environment shes created is such a safe space and home away from home for many of us and it’s so nice to be able to walk into her classroom and feel completely at ease. I will always look up to the lengths she goes to, to make her students feel loved. Whether it’s simply checking in with us, writing letters of recommendations, keeping period products stocked or sharing funny stories, she let’s us know that she cares about us.
I can’t believe I’m graduating this year, I will always regret that year I wasn’t in choir, but I will forever be grateful for the years that I was. When I look back on high school I will always talk about her class fondly and moving forward in my life I will always strive to be like her, empathetic, hardworking and passionate
Mrs. Parrott is the most amazing choir teacher I’ve ever had. She’s so accepting and loving of every deserving student that comes her way. She’s funny and kind, always cracking jokes with us and making sure we’re doing okay. We all call her Mom and she fits the role to a T. When we’re having a rough time (and when I say ‘we’ I mean all her students and I) she’s always there to help us and talk to us, giving us advice and love. I’ve had Parrott as a teacher since I was in seventh grade, I’m a senior in high school now and I firmly believe I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it weren’t for her influence. When I was a freshman, it was hard to find a place to fit in but she and the choir welcomed me in with open arms and from that point on, I had a home away from home. I’ll be graduating this year, and unfortunately, that means leaving and not coming back, but I’ll always have the influence of my favorite teacher, like “a handprint on my heart.” ❤️
She is a kind teacher whose class environment makes me feel safe. She cares deeply about her students and teaches us to set us up for success.
Mrs. Parrott is one of the best teachers. She is there when you need her, she is funny, and she knows how to make teaching fun.
She’s an amazing teacher who deserves the world.
While I’m not in high school anymore, Mr. Viles was my source of joy and happiness. Through our love of singing, we had a zero period before school even started where a group of singers would get together in the morning just for the joy of singing despite how ungodly early it was. Every chance I got to spend in that room with Mr. Viles was worth every second. He makes every student feel special and important and really makes us feel like our voices matter. His saying was always “everyone can sing.” He really is the reason I decided to continue onto college and join a choir. He is the reason that I am still singing. Thank you Mr. Viles.
Mr Pittman is a wonderful teacher and has inspired me and my classmates to come out of our shells this year and open up to a sound we did not know we could create! He has given our choirs a new light and sense of happiness with our music and greater relationships and understanding of each other. The choir room has become a safe space for multiple students and on hard days I always know I can count on Mr Pittman to talk to me and push me to get through the rest of the day. We are all very grateful he is here and he deserves the world for everything he has done for our choral departments in such a short time!
An astounding educator and vocalist, Mrs. Meg Byrne has worked tirelessly for over 20 years to build Pleasant Valley High School’s choir department from a single ensemble of singers to a program consisting of over 200 students in 4 curricular choirs, with extracurricular opportunities in three different jazz choirs. She has taught students of all backgrounds with varying futures – Samantha Pauly, Kathrine Howard in SIX on Broadway, is a former student of hers and fondly recalls her time under Byrne’s excellent direction. Byrne directs Chamber Choir, the premier curricular vocal ensemble at PVHS, performing music by Reena Esmail, Eric Whitacre, and Feliz Mendelssohn, to highlight. She also directs the Pleasant Valley Leading Tones, the only Iowa fully acapella jazz choir at a high school level, which regularly competes at Iowa’s State Jazz Championship among other 4a schools. She truly is a talented and hard-working figure, deserving of this recognition.
I am a junior in highschool at Byron Nelson and am grateful to have Mr. Sikon as my teacher. He is such an honorable, talented, and determined person. We are so blessed to have him as our teacher. Being in his program teaches us professionalism, hard work, and everyday skills. Our choir program would not be the same without him in which he takes mediocre experienced children and makes them award winning choirs with the involvement of his knowledge and love for music. We would love to celebrate him for his accomplishments and love. Thank you.
As a HS choir student who’s now a senior, I saw firsthand how our program changed due to the pandemic. It was a massive change for singing together and was a fearsome hurdle at first. Furthermore, our old choir teacher, the absolutely amazing Mrs. Marci Taylor, retired the year that the pandemic hit, throwing some of us into an unfamiliar singing environment. The space you sing in and the people you interact with are absolutely essential to a good choir, not just the technique of the performer, and I learned this under Mr. Wong, because he brought us together when the program could easily have fallen apart. Choir is a safe space for many of us and he, a new teacher at our school, dove headfirst into advocating for an excellent choral experience for every student. As much as we like to reminisce about our early choir years pre-pandemic, it’s an indisputable fact that we are where we are today because of Mr. Wong’s incredible efforts to bring us together and secure that space we cherish.
I am nominating Mrs. Brenda Scott because she has truly changed my life. She had been my director since 6th grade and because of her I am now studying music in college. She has taught at St. Johns Country Day School for 30 years and recently announced her retirement. Over the years she has taken her students all over the world to perform. Many people fondly remember the Germany trips the school does every 2 years with the choir. She also started taking students to NYC to be in workshops with professional musicians and actors. She’s also had the honor of taking her high school choir to sing in The White House on 2 seperate occasions. I can’t think of a better way to honor her legacy than to Nominate her For Teacher of the Week.
Megan Schuitema has changed my life through her passion and contribution to the program she runs. As a HS director, she gets new and fresh students all the time. She takes them under her wing and acts as a guiding light through the changes and hardships we face. Mrs. Schuitema allows us to have an outlet in her class where we can put our thoughts and emotions into the music we sing. She’s a wonderful and encouraging director, but she is an even better mentor and friend. Her office door is always open for questions, long talks, and silly encounters. The program that she runs is accepting and nourishing (and is still growing)! She encompasses what it means to connect through music. She provided a place for me (and others) to heal and flourish. Without her, I would’ve never thought to try and become a music major. Now I am studying to be a music therapist because I want to be able to make an impact through music. I am grateful for the impact she has made on myself and others.
Dr. Sara Harris- Baker
Dr. Baker was a professor of mine in undergrad. I was never in choir, but she mentored me as one of the only female staff at my small college. She built a program from the ground up and made it possible for so many students to get their degrees. She is a wife and mother herself, but always dedicated her time to her students. I remember crying in her office a few times, only to leave with a feeling of accomplishment and wanting to be like her someday for my students. She is a shining example of a world class educator and succeeded in changing not only my life but those of countless others from an area in the world that would otherwise leave them hopless in finding an outlet for music. She is my hero.
Mr. Adams is a tireless, selfless leader who both ensures his students have success with challenging literature as well as learn to love, respect, and critique each other. It is rare to find an ensemble where the students can offer high level, musical feedback to their fellow ensemble members and see that feedback applied. He has inspired countless students to pursue their dreams, sometime musical and other times not. While we are fortunate to have him at Millbrook, he has also served in State Level Leadership Roles and been State Choral Teacher of the Year.
My chorus teacher is as caring as they come. Whether you need help with your solo coming up, or learning a new piece, or just a shoulder to cry on, she will be there for you. Amy Kimbler loves what she does enough to take the time to get to know each and every one of her hundreds of students. She even writes everyone notes to let them know how much they mean to her. Among all the hardships we’ve been through this past year, the world could use more people like Amy Kimbler.
He has an amazing gift that he has shared with high school students for 30 years. He teaches choral music at the high school he graduated from. He sets high expectations and takes students who have never sung and turns them into singers! He builds individual relationships with his students at and their families. He has taken groups all over the world! He has a heart for people’s stories and finding the music to go with them. He has made a difference in thousands of lives
When I was 8 years old I had an ear operation on my right ear that resulted in being deaf . I had NO IDEA what the future would offer me. Would I gain back hearing in that ear? Would I find some way to ask people to talk to me on my left side? All those questions hit me as a child. Flash forward to high school. I joined the school choir under a remarkable man named Jack Carey. I found myself loving choral music. I also got a lot of questions from my friends in the choir and one of them was “How can you sing if you only hear in one ear?” Looking back, I remember laughing that off. Just because I lost my hearing in one ear, my left ear gave me the chance to learn choral music. ! Mr. Jack Carey was well aware of that and he pushed me to overcome my hearing handicap. He KNEW I could do it. In college, I majored in choral music and started writing my music then. Jack Carey passed away a few years ago. Thank you, Jack, for your inspiration.
4 yrs ago today, Tim was conducting the CRHS band on Seal Lullaby at the VA Beach Music Festival where they won the top prize. 1 yr ago, we were asking the ICU nurses at Hartford Hospital to play Seal Lullaby and any other EW songs they could as Tim remained unconscious after he was hit by a car the day the world locked down. His students did the only thing they knew they could do and that Tim had taught them to do. Find comfort and inspiration in music. From the isolation of their homes, they recorded and sent in their part of Seal Lullaby so it could be compiled and sent into Tim. Today, Tim is back in school, doing what he loves most, bringing music to his students lives and showing them how to share the power of that music. Before the accident, during his recovery and every day, Tim’s first thought is to make sure his students enjoy and understand the power and importance of music. Many are following in his footsteps in music ed and many more continue to share music because of Tim
Mr. Fisher is not only an amazing teacher, but an amazing person. This week last year, my brother’s high school class competed in Virginia Beach with the song Seal Lullaby and won the top prize. This song means a lot to both Mr. Fisher and his students, as it played a big role in connecting them through quarantine and his accident (caused major brain injury). Even through his extra hard time, Mr. Fisher is able to connect with his students tremendously through what he loves. While I have only had him for half of freshman year, he has already made a big impact on my life and the lives of my peers.
Mr. Fisher is the most kind and caring individual you will come across. He takes the time to get to each and every one of his many students. Not only is he phenomenal band teacher who is deeply passionate about what he teaches, but he also guides his students in life and encourages them no matter what the path they choose is. Mr. Fisher exemplifies what it means to be an outstanding mentor and he changes the lives of everyone who gives him the opportunity to. It was a blessing to have him as my teacher as many like me will say.
Tim Fisher holds a deeper passion for his students and the music he teaches than m any other teacher or professor I have had in my years of academia. I’ve been lucky enough to have him guide me through many Whitacre piece, one in particular that led us to winning a concert band competition (Seal Lullaby of course), and he really fostered my own love for music through his caring nature.
I am nominating Mr. Fisher because he doesn’t just teach his student how to play scales and marches; he teaches his students how to be better humans through music. My freshman year we played Seal Lullaby for the Virginia Beach music festival. When we played that piece on that stage every single member of the band was connected in our thoughts and emotions. That was all because of Mr. Fisher and his tireless devotion to his students. There is no person more deserving of accolades than Mr. Fisher. He has works tirelessly to offer as many opportunities to his students to play music, including expanding the jazz program or arranging music so that we can have a live pit band made of students for our school musical. I am eternally grateful for all that Mr. Fisher has done for me and my community.
Mr. Fisher has played an essential role in the music education of thousands of students and has inspired many to pursue careers involving music as well. He was a band teacher for 5th and 6th grade and students have been lucky enough to have him as a teacher in high school as well. Even following a terrible car accident, Timothy Fisher is and will continue to play a vital role in the lives of not only his students, but any person that has ever met him. He has taught me and my fellow students the comfort that music can bring and the importance it can play in ones life. During his recovery from being hit by a vehicle while walking, the students in the CRHS music department recorded sections of Seal Lullaby that would be played for him while he was in the hospital. Today, less than a year later Mr. Fisher is conducting and supporting his music students and persevering with the help of music. My life has changed because of Mr. Fisher; he has and will continue to inspire me and many others.
I have had Mr. Fisher as a teacher for six years in total. Mr. Fisher was the most inspirational teacher I had throughout the entirety of my high school career in CRHS. He is a great conductor and exposed his classes to many composers such as Eric Whitacre. The most notable piece we played by Eric Whitacre was definitely Seal Lullaby. We played that piece in a competition at Virginia Beach. It was definitely the most difficult piece we had, however, Mr. Fisher helped us through and it was the reason our class was able to rank so high in that competition. He is a passionate teacher, and very great to work with. He inspired me to even create some of my own music and I couldn’t be happier to have had him as a teacher.
He’s the best person ever.
Mr. Tanner Stutzman
He is an amazing educator, friend, and musician. He is constantly pushing us to be our best, and can be evidenced by a few of our choirs accomplishments. We were selected to perform at Carnegie Hall two years ago, and this past year we competed in the state jazz choir competition for the first time. Mr. Stutzman came down with COVID-19 the Saturday before competition (Monday) and still managed to lead us to 1st remotely. He has been teaching virtually this past week and is still extremely effective in making us better and pushing us to be amazing.
As a 5th year band director Aaron has does nothing but inspire those that he teaches. He brings joy to the band room as well as not so funny dad jokes, overall Aaron has been nothing but the best and most memorable teacher in my 4 years of high school. He still helps the alumni that ask for his help when needed and gives the most helpful advice and is always willing to lend a ear to his current and former students.
I want to Nominate Mr.Shrimpton because he has changed my life for the good. He has shown me what a genuinely good person will do for other people. He has been teaching for 30 years and he is retiring this year. I would say he’s the best teacher I’ve ever had because he understands me and makes choir more about the people than the music itself
Mr. Young is my high school music teacher from Winnisquam Reigional High School in New Hampshire. He has kept all of us in our program alive even through the pandemic keeping us wanting more. Even though back in 2019 we may have had 85 kids in our choir and now only 37. He will put forth the same energy every day. He makes us laugh (and cry sometimes) and keep wanting to make music together everyday. He truly is the soul of our school and our program. Thank you Mr. Young for growing young musicians and keeping our passion alive.