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Teacher of the Week

On a daily basis, I am blown away by the work of educators the world over. Not only am I lucky enough to have crossed paths with inspirational teachers throughout my life but many of you share your stories of incredible people you’ve had the joy of encountering – people who are changing the world one student at a time. Every Thursday, I will share a new “Teacher of the Week” and invite you to submit your nominations below.


Your Nominations

Leia Browning

As not only a single mom with two children but a full time teacher as well, she brings joy and energy into the class room even if all of us are feeling down. she encourages us to do our best then takes that and pushes us harder than any choir teacher I’ve ever had. Yet even as she pushes our singing she always makes sure that our health and comes first. We are a family and we treat each other like it.

Brandon Moore

He has helped grow so many high school choir students into beautiful music makers, bringing together generations of singers with one song that brings us all together as a family.

Dr. Matthew Erpelding

Dr. Erpelding’s teaching and leadership brought an inclusiveness and camaraderie to the choral program that was missing. He created an environment where no one is afraid to audition. He always inspires with energy and enthusiasm. Dr. Erpelding teaches every choir he works with to express the emotion of the music and that connecting with the music, the audience, and, most importantly, each other is the key to understanding and performing music.

Maryann Brilleslyper

Dr.Brilleslyper started the choir department at our now 12 year old high school. In her time there, she has formed 8 choirs, taken choirs to Carnegie Hall, gotten many kids into honor choirs across the nation, ranked superiors at every choir competition she competes at, will be representing the U.S. at the 75th D-Day Choral Celebration in France, and most importantly, is the best role model for all of her students. She not only teaches but forms bonds with her students that will last a life time. She brings passion to every class and never fails to make her students excited about sing. She is a true inspiration and I am proud to call her my mom away from home.

Dr. Jamie Bartlett

Dr. Bartlett was not only my college chamber choir director and academic adviser, but also my mother away from home, my musical mentor, and the most encouraging director I’ve ever had throughout my singing career. She has a way of being your biggest cheerleader, while also expecting and pushing you to achieve nothing less than the best and most you can give. She made my 18 member chamber choir the highlight of my college experience, not just because she pushed us to produce music that brought me to tears as I sang each concert, but because she has a truly inspiring love and passion for what she does and for every single one of her students.

Parker Haley

Mr. Haley works so hard to let his kids know that they are loved and are important to him. There is never a day when he doesn’t great his class with a smile or an encouraging word. He has been a great mentor to me as a fellow teacher and checks in to make sure that I’m doing okay. And when I’m not, he will take as much time as he has to encourage and support me. This attitude is something that he brings into his classroom, making sure no students fall through the cracks, no matter how many of their other teachers may have given up on them.

Geoffery Miller

Mr. Miller was the person responsible for my love of music. He pushed me to become a better musician, and because of that, I am now a second year music education major in college at NKU. He is the reason I started loving playing trumpet. He gave us the best music to play, and he gave me opportunities that led me to becoming the best musician I can be. I am where I am today because of him, no doubt.

Dr. Jim Henry

Dr. Henry, is one of the most inspiring people in the world, He is an amazing conductor, voice coach, and lecturer. As the Director of The University of Missouri Saint Louis Choruses, and the 4 time Barbershop Harmony Society International Champion Chorus “Ambassadors of Harmony” Everybody learns something new, whenever they meet with this amazing teacher. He is also the Bass of two Champion Quartets ( The Gas House Gang and Crossroads) He is an inspiration to all, and will never let you leave without a smile on your face.

Holly Lewallen

Holly was my high school choir teacher for 4 years. She made me feel at home and she helped me become a much better vocalist. She practically kills herself every year to make her choir sound the best they can be. She works so hard and is the best teacher I’ve ever had. I wouldn’t be where I am today without her.

Dr. Joey Martin

Dr. Martin is an excellent example of generosity of sprit, sweetness and grace, but most importantly a musical mind that is inspiring. He is tenacious and always seeks a way to be better personally and professionally. His drive is infectious. I have learned from his innate artistry as a director and accompanist. The doors he opens and opportunities he gives his students are signs that he is passionate about us AKA his “kiddles” or “kit Kats”. I will always know that at Texas State University I am loved and I matter to Dr. Martin.

Gabriel Chodos

Passionate Pianist and Educator. Was Chairman of the Piano department at New England Conservatory of Music for 25 years, AND regular summer faculty at Aspen.

Jacquie Olivieri

Jacquie goes above and beyond teaching elementary school children not only music, but also reading. She also gives back to the community by playing principal flute with the Blazing River Freedom band, Cleveland’s LGBT ensemble. While not gay herself, she bravely supports equality proudly through performance.

Beth Menke Miller

Ms. Miller is not only an exceptional teacher and performer she also takes a strong interest in the development of her students. In and out of the classroom Beth Miller has been a supportive energy to everyone she knows. If you’re lucky enough to know her you’d say that she is truly one of the most caring,passionate, and real people you know.

Kelly DeHaan

Even nearly ten years later, his unsurpassable knowledge, experience, love of music, and love of his students continues to inspire me on a regular basis, both from memory and from seeing him still in action. If it weren’t for Kelly, I know my high school and later experiences would have been void of any real light.

Preston Bowthorpe

Because of the work he has done with both advanced and beginning choir students, Preston Bowthorpe has had students of all ages balanced in multiple choirs take his classes even though he graduated from college very recently. He teaches music to the individual student, not just the class.

Shirley Wilson

Despite the low funding that the school provides for choir, she goes out of her way to make sure our choir is able to participate in any given event. Sometimes even out of pocket, she never gives up on us and motivates us to reach for the stars. She’s the reason myself and many others have chosen music as our major.

Chris Maunu

Mr Maunu influences his students to practice not only music but also real life. He also teaches us not to be afraid to cry or be emotional with one another. He preaches that music is lifeless without involving real life emotions and events.

Ryan Ellis

Mr. Ellis was the most funnest, craziest, sincere, and most inspirational choir teacher I’ve ever had. His intense passion for music made all his students motivated to make sure they practice and work as a team. If there was ever a time where the students did not understand a subject, he would adapt to each student so everyone was on the same page. Mr. Ellis constantly challenged his students because he knew their potential and talent, which is why he always gets Superiors in all his competitions. He should be nominated because no matter what is happening in his or his students life, his positive attitude and great teaching methods makes him one of the best educators I’ve ever seen.

Stephanie Schumacher

Mrs. Schumacher is quite possibly one of the most personable, honest, and caring educators that I have had the pleasure to be in class with. She consistently pushed me to give all that I do my best, not just with music but all aspects of my life. I am lucky to have been taught by her, and I have developed my passion for music from her devotion. Mrs. Schumacher is a great teacher and deserves recognition!

Kelly Mielcarz

She is truly an inspiration and always there to help you grow as a musician and a person. She is so kind and enthusiastic, and has faith in all of her students even when they don’t see it themselves, and she’s a loving mother to all. Mrs. Mielcarz has helped me through really difficult times in my life, and I’m forever thankful for her.

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Nominate a Teacher

There are thousands of incredible educators out and there and I invite you to submit your nominations. Who you nominate is your choice – it could be anyone from your kindergarten teacher to your college professors.

Please fill out the form below in full.

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