Mr. Zahler helps keep the band spirit alive. He’s an amazing guy, patient, relates to us students, and cares about us. He always comes to class with at least one meme relating to music, and generally brightens up our day. Mr. Zahler makes the band a safe space that any student can go to. It feels like a completely different place in the school. He is there for us when we need him the most and puts the students before himself in any situation. This does not only apply to band students though. He cares about any student who needs help and his fellow teachers and staff. He always makes sure we are comfortable and really breathes a new life into band each year. He has faced many challenges between the collapse of the band the previous year and having to deal with Covid. Mr. Zahler makes me actually enjoy band, and that truly is something. Mr. Zahler makes band far more enjoyable than any other band director, and I can’t imagine anyone else being our band director!😎😎
Allie Lewis (Greenwell)
Ms. Greenwell (now Lewis) is an extraordinary human being & teacher that strives for excellence while remembering to connect. She has an amazing spirit & sense of humor. Her love for music & quite honestly, this composer, is unmatched. She is alive when she talks about music & it is beautiful!
Greenwell was my middle school and high school band teacher. She watched me go from a shy kid to one of the drum majors in my senior year. She helped to grow my confidence not only as a musician but as a person. She has always been there to encourage me to try new things. She is an inspiration to me and has helped make me into the person I am today. I am forever grateful to her.
I want to take the time to appreciate her for her impact on me and so many other students. Every day she helps give her students the confidence to pursue their dreams. I hope to share the same motivation she has given me with others around me.
I nominate Mrs Greenwell for a couple of reasons, one being because she is welcoming and caring. When I transferred to my new school she made sure I felt welcomed and cared for, she always tries to make a good student-teacher relationship with everyone and make everyone feel welcome in her class. Another reason I nominate Mrs Greenwell because she is hardworking and inspiring. She always gives it her all in class even when she’s not having a good day, she always puts the class over herself, this inspired me to be more hardworking and it made me want to push myself and others to do our best. To conclude I Marco nominate Mrs Greenwell as the teacher of the week because she’s a caring, welcoming, hardworking and inspiring individual that makes school enjoyable for everyone.
Mrs. Lewis is the bestest teacher ever.
She puts her entire soul into teaching. She has changed so many lives for the better.
She is the best band teacher I have ever had and is a great influence in my life.
Allie Greenwell was an amazing high school band teacher. She inspired me to study music in college and now I teach music at an elementary school! I couldn’t have gotten where I am without her. She cares for all of her students individually and makes them feel important because they are.
Allie is an amazing and inclusive band director. She has the most understanding personality and truly loves every second she spends teaching her students. You can tell she is passionate about teaching and music.
Allie had been my teacher from 6th grade all the way to graduation in 2017 and is constantly changing the lives of her students for the better; without her, I don’t know where or who I would be today. Allie sets all teachers aside because she listens, supports, and guides her students like no other. Whether it be students with disabilities or impairments like myself, teenage pregnancy, and even suicidal attempts Allie listened cared and made every student not only feel important but helped them become important people in society by chiselling their best skills and individual personalities. Mrs. Lewis or as I knew her Ms. Allie Greenwell sets the bar high for all teachers and continues to better herself, her students and society. Thank you for everything Ms. Greenwell.
Allie is my band teacher. Always will be, and I know you know how much weight that holds. I was a sophomore in HS playing upright bass in a jazz band, it was her first year teaching. She took a huge risk taking an underpaid band director position out in the boonies to work with underprivileged kids in my rural community. She was there every morning during zero period, every concert band rehearsal, and she was there for any and every kid who took the long walk down to the band room to feel safe. She was my school’s first safe place for the art kids, music kids, the poor kids, the Mormons who got bullied… She was my safe place too, and I don’t think I’ve ever told her. So Mrs. Greenwell, this one’s for you. I hope you get to meet your idol! 🥰 Go Cascade!!! The pic is my orange tabby cat, not sure what you wanted there.
Allie Greenwell is an incredibly dedicated music teacher. She connects with her students in a way most people can’t. She brings the music alive in the ensemble’s soul and uses incredible patience to teach and guide her students to success. She believes in every student who walks in her door and she welcomes them into the musical family she’s fostered through the years. If anyone deserves to be recognized for being an outstanding teacher, it is her. Please consider Allie for teacher of the week, because for many of her students, she is a teacher of a lifetime! 💖
Allie is such an amazing and caring person. She really goes the extra mile for her students and makes sure all feel welcome in her classroom. I can’t think of anyone more deserving!
Mr. Bennett is the greatest teacher I’ve ever had. Anytime i ever doubted my love for choir he brought it right back. He cares not only about making amazing music but he truly cares for all of his students. He knows what we can handle and will always push us to be our very best. This year is my 3rd year being his student and he makes choir truly feel like a 2nd family. I am so incredibly lucky to have Mr Bennett as a teacher.
Kathy and I were clarinetists together in high school. 25 years later, we are both seasoned music teachers. Kathy’s creativity and work ethic are an inspiration. She can be counted on to engage students in creative ways, such as Among Us (music edition), Flat Composers (like Flat Stanley), Music Olympics. Kathy is often the first to get to school, and the last to leave. This is impressive considering she is out most nights gigging on her clarinet. Kathy is known for her exhaustive checklists, shown below! She often makes personal sacrifices to keep herself educated and enriched, including singing in the Eric Whitacre Virtual Choir 6 (“Sing Gently”). Bravo, Kathy Boster!
Samuel L. Hayward
Samuel L. Hayward, my high school band director, mentor and friend, has left us for the next life. He was a champion among all people and served as a music teacher/band director in the Pinellas County, FL schools for 48 years. He lead the Seminole High Warhawk Band to victory at the 1978 Virginia Beach Music Festival, considered to be the national championship for bands at that time. I was a sophomore trumpet player in that band. In 1979 he went to Countryside High School and stayed there for 24 years until his retirement in 2003. Sam “The Man” Hayward was a quiet, sincere and kind man, and a great teacher. As I look back on my life, it has been the music teachers who made the greatest impact on my character. Sam was one of those, a hero without a cape, a mentor whose quiet guidance helped shape me into the man I eventually became. I will miss him, but he will never truly be gone because I am just one of the thousands of students he touched, and he will live on in all of us.
Brandon Martell went to the Eastman School of Music on a trombone scholarship. He is a prolific trombonist, and throughout high school and college, he was a total band geek. After graduation, however, he became the Choral Director at Calvary Christian High School in Clearwater, FL, where his brother, Michael Martell, is Band Director and Director of Fine Arts. With a passion for making beautiful music in many forms and an always-uplifting attitude, recently he lead the Calvary Choir to straight superior ratings at the Florida Vocal Association MPA for their district. Additionally, the judges selected the choir as the #1 Critic’s Choice choir. Comments from Brandon:
“This has been a career goal of mine for a couple of years, and I’m still processing the fact that it has happened. This group of students is exceedingly special. My friends, do not lose your hope in our nation’s young people. They are capable of such beauty of art and of soul.”
Mr. Cundari was a part of my life for six years, from middle school to high school. He wasn’t just a typical teacher that I could have had multiple times. He was always trying to raise the bar and shatter the ceiling. He not only pushed us as performers and students, but also as people. He always wanted us to be respectful and be aware that while we may not be on school grounds, we still represent the school off-site, such as at concerts or trips. After I had graduated, he moved on to schools in different states. He definitely left our music program better than how he found it – which is a way I try to view everything in life. While winning is not everything, we typically brought in more trophies to the school than the sports teams. He made our program beyond what most could imagine and looking back, he has also impacted my life more than what I could have seen at the time.
Graham Kerick is the High School Band Director & Music Department Chair at Susquehanna Township High School in Harrisburg, PA. He has been the band director there for 4 years and has also taught in California, Nevada, and other parts of PA. He is a huge advocate for music education. As an educator he constantly advocates for his students and fellow teachers in his department. He encourages his students to reach their maximum potential and have as many learning experiences as possible. As well as state music festivals, he encourages his students to attend summer camps, honor bands, and auditions for community music ensembles. Outside of school he is always cheering his students on and supporting their successes.
In PA, some school districts are still cutting funding for music, and he constantly fights to keep music just as important as other subjects, Everything he does is for the better of his students.
Dr. Ousley is a professor at Charleston Southern University, and he is a one-of-a-kind, counter-cultural, outstanding person and choral director. He shares his wisdom, experiences, joys, sorrows, and heart for music and life with anyone and everyone who will listen. He regularly makes sacrifices and goes out of his way for his students and other faculty members, expecting nothing in return. He truly enjoys being able to share his knowledge with his students, his family, and the community choir he leads. The environment he strives to uphold makes everyone involved better musicians, people, and leaders. I would not be where I am as a student and as a future choir teacher/conductor without his guidance and heart for keeping our profession alive. One of my favorite things he says is “wherever you are, raise the bar”, because he not only wants our best as musicians, but as people. I can only hope to make an impact on my future students and community like he has on his. Thank you, DO!!
Randall K Jordan
Mr.Jordan has impacted so many young lives and has inspired his students to be better musicians. Without him many of the Seven lakes high school choir students would not care about music. Through him we learn the importance and value of music and how it has impact our young minds. He is an amazing choir teacher who lights a fire in many talented musicians. Thank you Mr.Jordan!
Mrs. Mowen is a wonderful teacher who has touched many lives. Current students and former students often talk about how she was there for them, supported them, and taught them many lessons in and out of the classroom. She has been an inspiration to many. She currently teaches children who struggle in reading as well as supports other teachers in their classrooms. Her support and inspiration go beyond the classroom as she volunteers after school. She is always finding ways to help others in her daily life no matter where she is.
Helstedt, as we all called her in our time at Maple Grove Senior High School, had the most profound effect on my life whether she knows it or not. She taught me to love one of the few things I actually know how to do in my life, and that is to sing and create music. Besides being a choir teacher, she was a friend to every single one of us, knew the capability we all possessed, and she always pushed us to be the best we could be. Hence, we tended to sing songs of composers like Eric Whitacre, which is also where i fell in love with his music. It’s been a decade since I’ve left high school, but I still remember her very well and all that she did for us. I’m not sure she’d remember me, because I was the quiet kid in choir. However, because of her, music and singing has become a part of who I am, and I’m planning on, soon, conducting a choir of my own. I’ve always wanted to reach out and just say thank you, but I haven’t the courage to do so. Hopefully this might suffice.
Annie Knight is a huge role model to me, and almost every person I know. Ms. Knight gives her all to everything she does, and loves and nurtures every student that comes through her program like they are one of her own children. She has a deep passion for music, and an even deeper passion to share her knowledge and experiences about music and other subjects to her students. Under her direction, myself and all of my peers have grown as musicians and as people more than any of us ever thought possible. I can not even begin to list the amount of times I have watched as she has come in extra early to help her students with something, how many lunch breaks she sacrificed for her students, and of course, spending her evenings doing everything from spontaneous rehearsals, to auditions for various events, and even listening to students talk about their lives to her. She is loved by everyone in the community, and is often (and accurately) described as the most wholesome person on this earth.
Ms. Ryan had a really tough job coming to teach at our high school this year. The last band director left the district without much warning, so they had to hire a new band and AP music theory teacher in the weeks leading up to school starting. Since September, she has made the position hers, taking over and expanding the pep band, and is looking to form our schools first marching band. She took over the jazz band, and formed a pit band comprised of students for the first time in our school’s recent memory. She is also an incredible AP theory teacher and an inspiringly hard worker. She works hard to ensure her classroom is a safe space for all students, and that any kid can go there if they need it. She is a leader and an inspiration to dozens of music kids every day.
Ms Ryan just switched to my high school earlier this year with two weeks notice. She has done a fantastic job with getting everything situated. Even with all the stress on her shoulders, she is the sweetest woman I’ve ever met. She is the best band directer I’ve ever had. She has changed my prospective of music and made me want to become a band director and composer.
Ms. Ryan is extremely hardworking. She sacrifices a ton for her students and spends time helping us out. She was a middle school band director but was recently hired as a High school band director at Beacon High School in Upstate NY. Not only is she incredibly talented and overqualified for her job but she is an amazing teacher as well.
Troy is the choir and band director at Lawrence County High School in Tennessee, as well as a former Texas director. He’s been in the field of music for 20+ years, always looking for something new to learn or share with his students. A great musician, he is better known for the care and support he shows towards his students. His office is ALWAYS open if you need to talk about something. He pushes his students harder and harder every day to be their best selves, treating them like his own children. Whether it be his outstanding trombone playing, his constant spew of “dad jokes”, or his inspirational quotes, he is always the highlight of multiple students’ days.
I am nominating Mr.Hyman because he is more than a band director, he is a father to everyone in the band.
Mr.Hyman has saved the John W Moore middle school program and has made a family in each of the bands. He is more than a teacher. He is a father to all of us.
He is one of the funniest teachers I’ve ever met. He’s very talented. His energy it’s contagious, and his work should not go unnoticed. This teacher goes through so much to put on a beautiful musical despite the other activities he does.
I am nominating her because she shows not only me but our choir that passion can really influence your life and relationships. Hopson had helped with our school musical while being region chair being head director of the choir and still taking time to check on us everyday. Hopson shows inspires me to love what I do that anything in my life is possible!
Mr. Duncan has touched the life’s of many of his students and makes sure that they are loved and cared for! He brings an uplifting and goofy energy while we sing. Inspires all of the music nerds with music and life lessons. Jokes around and creates a community where everyone feels safe. Our choir is a big family who bonded through his class. He always pushes us to our absolute 100% potential. He has helped me personally more than he knows, saved my life even and I can’t thank him enough. He just shows that we have the talent to go far and the grit to reach beyond! He also has taught us the way of sarcastic humor and dad jokes. No matter what I know he’s touched the lives of hundreds probably thousands. He brings a light to the room no one else can!
Amy is one of the strongest people I know. Through every struggle, she shows grace and courage. She has been through so much in her life and yet she prevails every time. She’s a wonderful mother and teacher. She was my 9th grade English teacher and has taught 2 of my 3 siblings. She is a part of my family now and we love her so much. In honor of my late sister, who was also taught by Amy and would absolutely nominate her as well, I would like to nominate her as teacher of the week.
Amy, Sidney is always with you. You were her favorite teacher and you are still mine to this day. We love you. Thank you for being a blessing we never knew we needed.