Mr. Connell is the single most passionate teacher I’ve ever had the pleasure of having. Being a first year teacher, he has taken our music program by storm. We are taught the intricate nuances of true self-expression. His new ideas are inspired and make our (not so) quiet corner of the school an amazing place to be. He has made it a priority to make connections with his students through beautiful music. In the short time that I’ve known him, Mr. Connell has shown enthusiasm like none other and I’m am beyond excited to see how he further builds our community.
Dr. J.D. Salas
Dr. Salas was my tuba professor at SFASU. More importantly though, he was my biggest mentor during that pivotal time in my life. Not only did he understand that his job was to teach music, but also to help everyone in his studio grow as people. People in my studio had a variety of issues such as drug use and family problems back home when they arrived. I watched Dr. Salas take each individual and help them through their struggles, including me. I remember times where I felt that I hadn’t practiced enough and our fifty minute lesson turned into us talking about life and him guiding me through my relationships and struggles. I recently met up with some of my fellow studio members and we were all chatting about what a big influence he had on us. We all agreed that we didn’t deserve Dr. Salas, but that we were all thankful to have had him anyway. When I think of the great educators I’ve had in my life, he always pops up first, because he’s so much more than a tuba professor.
Mr. Bogue is overall one of the most inspirational people I have ever met. He always knows how to take our choirs above and beyond and he has created such a wonderful environment for his students. He has created a safe and happy environment for everyone to be themselves and get the most out of the program. You wouldn’t believe the tremendous improvements people make under his teachings. I am so proud to be a part of his choir program and it is the one thing I will never ever forget about high school
He is by far the best orchestra teacher I ever had. He not only taught us music and how to play, but he taught us about being great human beings. He pushed us to be the best musicians and people possible and made sure to let us know that we could make a difference in the world. He made sure we knew we were loved and that our creativity was just as valuable as all of our academics. He was there for me during a tough period in high school and was more of a father figure than a teacher sometimes. I have been out of high school for 4 years now and I still lean back on his musical advice and teaching as well as his life teaching and genuine love and care for each of his students. He is one of my biggest inspirations in life and one main reason I want to be a teacher even if it isn’t music.
Mrs. Ellen McCarthy
Mrs. McCarthy is a consummate professional, treats each and every student as if they are the most important person in the room at all times. She has a way of making a community out of the the most unlikely of strangers and has built a tremendous choral program in Northport, NY. She is loved by her students and has one of the most focused rehearsals complete with affect and emotion that I have ever watched. It’s a joy to be able to watch and work with someone who loves so genuinely and passionately what she does each and every day!
Dr. Colleen Richardson
Doctor Richardson is one of the most amazing conductors I’ve ever met. She is so serious about everyone playing well, and also genuinely cares about everyone and their needs. She all wants us to be the best musicians we can be. I love being under the leadership of her because she’s taught me to become a leader. I hope someday to be just like her. She’s an absolutely amazing conductor and I could not ask for anyone better.
Mrs. Michelle Green
Mrs. Green is a great example of what it means to be a good choral educator. She pushes us further than we think we can go, never letting us quit. She provides us with opportunities that we wouldn’t get elsewhere like performing with Foreigner or at the governor’s mansion. She is so dedicated that she missed out on the opportunity to attend your workshop at GSU so we could have another rehearsal to perform at our best. More importantly than anything else, Mrs. Green makes us better people. I have learned more life lessons in her class than I can count. She taught me that music is about more than just notes and rhythms; it’s about how it can make someone feel. She taught me that hard work and respect will get you further than almost anything. Mrs. Green takes us under her wings and treats us like her own children. Everyone who she comes into contact with knows that her room is a place full of love. For these reasons and more, I’m forever grateful and think she should be recognized.
Mr.Woody is the most caring man I know. He loves his students more than any other teacher I’ve ever met. He has taught me to give and help others in any way I can and to be a leader. He shows kindness and compassion through every moment of the day. He pours his heart and soul into his students and helps them to grow as people. As a past student I can say, without a doubt, he deserves to be teacher of the week!
Ms. Birdsong has an extraordinary ability to make people feel good about themselves. Her entire educational philosophy revolves around prioritizing interpersonal relationships and building strong bonds with each of her students. Her exceptional communicative skills have led to her be a fantastic music educator- one who instills both a love of learning and a love of music in the hearts of her students. Ms. Birdsong is currently Assistant Director of Bands and director of the pep band at James Madison University, and it seems that every student and faculty member in the music department is in completely love with her.
Mr. Jeremy Davis
Mr.Davis is the best choir teacher. He inspires so many teens at my high school to try choir and he made me fall in love with it. He is so passionate about what he does and is one of the kindest human beings I know. He celebrates his student’s successes and mentors us one on one when we need help. Mr.Davis is the best choir teacher I’ve ever had, he teaches us so many great techniques. He helped me fulfill my choir dreams. By pushing me to be my best, he helped me get into many honors choirs and to meet Dr. André Thomas at Ohio state choir this year. Mr.Davis puts all of his heart into his job and I couldn’t think of anyone more deserving of this recognition.
Mr. Doheny is honestly the best high school choir teacher you could ask for. He is so kind and caring, not to mention funny. He always hops on the chance to get his students to do different things involving choir. All state audition recommendations, American music abroad recommendations . He always want us to do something new. If we are singing for him, whether its audition practice, or something else, he doesn’t look, so we feel more comfortable. He is always motivating us to do better, and is always confident in us. He never criticizes us and instead always tells us what we should work on to improve our singing. He likes to keep us entertained and loves to share stories, or terrible jokes, so we never get bored. He is honestly gotten me to love singing again and even my non choir friends love him. He is very dedicated into not just turning us into singers, but experienced musicians, that are very close together. Our choir is not just a choir, but like a family thanks to him.
Dr. Barlow Bradford
Dr. Bradford is the chair for choral studies at the University of Utah. He is truly dedicated to cultivating not just good choral singers, but good artists. He also develops personal relationships with his students. Dr. Bradford truly believes he has the greatest job in the world.
Mr. Andrew Williams
Mr. Williams has become one of the most influential people in my life. He has encouraged and pushed me to be the best version of myself, both musically and personally. He inspires his students to be responsible for their actions, inside and outside of the classroom. He has always been there for his students and has always been someone you can talk to. Mr. Williams has inspired me to pursue music education as a career and has been helping me every step of the way. Students could not ask for a better band director, music teacher, or person. He truly has made the most positive impact on my life, and many others. Thank you, Mr. Williams.
Jarrod & Shawna Hendricks
Mr. and Mrs. Hendricks have truly impacted my life in so many more ways than musically. They have given me the gift of patience and self confidence. I honestly would not be the person I am today without them. I wouldn’t be able to nominate one without the other because they are such a wonderful team. They are the best directors I have ever had and they teach me more about how to view life as a gift and how to find the music in the world every day.
Ms. Howard explains things in a way the kids can understand. She makes kids feel equal and is always there for each and every one of them. She opens up her choir room to the whole school and invites everyone inside so that people know choir is fun and accepting. She does so much for the program and so little for her self. All she ever does is give give and give. I first hand have seen what it’s like to have your head direction out because of cancer and have to take over the whole program and say it’s running smoothly and mean it, I’ve seen it first hand because of my choir director, Courtney Howard. Not only is she my amazing choir director, but she is my amazing mother. By day she’s fighting altered pitches and triplets, and by night she’s a single mother of three at home and cooks for them to make sure they are cared for and they’re always on top of their day. She sometimes plays both roles as dad and mom when she has too. She is my teacher of the week every week.
I am nominating Ms. Courtney Howard because she is so caring to each and everyone of her students and makes them feel welcomed.
because shes a baddie
She is overall a great teacher and a great person. I couldn’t imagine anyone else teaching choir at our school. We all love her so much and she is so helpful and understanding all the time. It would really mean a lot to her to win teacher of the week. Thank you.
Ms. Howard perseveres. Through the hardship of teaching 5 periods a day, directing all the choirs in the absence of our head choir director, and giving seniors who are pursuing further education in music guidance to succeed; Courtney Howard excels and keeps a level head.
Greatest music teacher and hard working.
Mr. Rudolph has changed my life. He has made me see and feel the beauty in making music. He is very articulate when it comes to the challenging work we do and yet makes it fun for everyone in class. He relates every crescendo, ritardando, decrescendo to a personal experience or a joke that we will never forget. He makes my three choir classes a rave. His teaching alone gives me goosebumps let alone the life he pushes us to bring out in the music.
He is an amazing choral director who manages women’s ensemble, chamber choir, and a capella choir. he puts everything into his job and loves his students like they’re his own children. I feel excited to go to choir every day and his classes make my day. He also LOVES your pieces, as do all of us students. Please consider this wonderful man for your teacher of the week. Thank you!
Mrs. Douglas has a profound effect on my life. I will never forget the moment when I fell short of a goal of mine and she simply just held me in my disappointment and told me she was proud of me. She has wisdom, kindness, and such a beautiful soul, and she uses all these things to be a powerful role model for all her students and to love them unconditionally. She not only motivates her students to be better musicians, but she pushes them to be better people. She reminds us to use manners, show respect, and build community. Most of all, she gives us a glimpse of what love and beauty look and feel like through the pieces she chooses for us. I will forever be grateful for Mrs. Douglas’s impact on my life and I know so many others feel the same.
Mr.Bumgardner is the most inspiring person I have ever met. He treats all of his students with respect and love. He has been a choral teacher for 38 years now and has taught many schools such as Kings mountain, Gardner-Webb, and he is currently teaching at Hopewell high school in Huntersville, NC. Everyday he encourages students to do their best and put 110% effort into everything they do. He has not only helped me become more confident in my voice; but he has helped countless others as well. He deserves to be recognized for all of his effort, love, and care that he shows to everyone.
Mr. Pierson has been a vital part of my high school experience, and I am extremely thankful to have had him as a teacher for these past four years. He has always been supportive of me and my love for music. His passion for music and teaching is evident through his role in the music department at my school. He always listens to student requests for new music clubs and is always looking to provide students with an avenue to pursue a new musical interest. Through the many clubs he has helped create, I have been able to experience many different aspects of music, such as composing, songwriting, and acapella. I am thankful to Mr. Pierson for giving me this opportunity to explore, and for always being a supportive teacher. Thank you, Mr. Pierson, for all you have done for me, and all of your students. I will miss you next year!!!
Mr. Pierson has been one of the most supporting and caring teachers I’ve ever met. His love for music sparks a passion in others that inspires his students to explore music on their own. Our school was founded in 2011 and since then, he has grown the music program from 45 students to over 250 (or about half the students) at our small, humble school. He is dedicated to continuing to grow the music program at our school and will always make time before and after school to work with students. But he is much more than just a teacher to his students. He is a role model and become a trusted adult that I know I can always rely on. I have had the privilege of being Mr. Pierson’ s student for the past 4 years, and as I go off to college, I know I will always remember the impact he has made in my life.
Mr. Pierson strikes my interest in music in a way that no band director I’ve had before had done.
Mr. Pierson is very nice to me and helps me play music and I like playing music a lot even though sometimes i’m not very good at it but he helps me get better at it like at the start of this year I wasn’t good at all!! But now i’m ok :)
Growing up the radio was always on on my way to school, so I grew to be pretty fond of music overall. I’d considered writing my own music for a while but I never knew how. Going into high school, Mr. Pierson encouraged me to start making music despite my inexperience, and now, because of his support, writing music is one of my primary hobbies.
Mr. Pierson helped me when I switched from trumpet to french horn. I’d been playing trumpet for 4 years, and I wanted to switch to another brass instrument. Mr. Pierson suggested I try french horn because of the similar mouthpiece size, and after about 2 months of his support, I’ve become a fairly proficient horn player and I even play in my local orchestra outside of school.
Mr. Pierson has been a huge influence on my musical experience throughout high school. he’s taught me a lot about the processes in composing a musical piece but also about the importance of never giving up. There were many times where I felt like I had hit a wall in my composing skills but whenever I did Mr.Pierson would always give me some sort of advice to encourage me. usually, the way I write music is I make the main melody and make other sections with varying themes of it. one time I made something that sounded completely different than what I was going for and instead of telling me to delete it, Mr.Pierson said that I should keep it for another song that I might want to compose. after hearing this advice I went on to write tons of musical pieces based on my scraps from others. without Mr. Pierson, I wouldn’t be the confident composer I am today.
I am nominating Mr. Pierson because he approaches music education in a way that many other high school band directors do not. Mr. Pierson doesn’t believe that students should be taught in a one-sided conversation, where the teacher instructs and the students follow, but rather music instruction should be a conversation between all parties, then moving forward students can be individuals with their own ideas, and not just students that can only follow a leader.
I am a junior in high school, and upon entering in freshman year, I had never played an instrument before, although I’d had the interest. Mr. Pierson helped me start learning my instrument of choice, flute, despite the challenges of never having played music before. Now, in my third year of playing, I am in the intermediate level band, Concert Winds, and I’m in my first year of learning music theory with Mr. Pierson as well. From day one, Mr. Pierson has been supportive of my musical endeavors and has made me the musician I am today.
I remember in 8th grade when I first heard the beautiful sonorous sound of “Hungarian Rhapsody no. 2” played on my school piano during afterschool hours. When I checked to see who was playing, I saw none other than Brooke Pierson. I told him the song was beautiful and he told me he could teach me to play it one day. I never had formal piano lessons. My parents never supported my passion for music, they wanted me to become a doctor. I gladly took the opportunity and he began teaching me starting from the basics. As I entered 9th grade, I was able to play the piece flawlessly. I wanted to join the school’s renowned band as well and Mr. Pierson was gracious enough to teach me tuba. When I confided in him that my parents didn’t support me joining the school band, he told them about how music can challenge us intellectually to the same degree a science can. He’s an amazing, caring, and deeply passionate teacher, and dare I say a great friend.
My family was never a very fortunate one, with two brothers and three sisters we were often troubled economically. But, ever since I was 7 years old in 2nd grade, I knew I wanted to play the oboe. I loved the way it sounded… so sweet and delicate like a New York cheesecake with a strawberry on top. However, at that time my father had just passed away, and we couldn’t possibly afford an oboe. Many nights we had trouble affording groceries. I often lamented over both my father and my inability to pursue my passion, at least that was until I transferred into a new school in 8th grade. Immediately at this new school I took note of the music program. I desperately wanted to be apart of the band, but I didn’t know how to play anything nonetheless as well as the students here… and when I expressed this to the band director, Mr. Pierson, he said that the school could provide me with an instrument and he could tutor me on how to play! By the end of 11th grade, I was a virtuoso, a master.
To Whom It May Concern: It is my pleasure to recommend Brooke Pierson. I have been Mr. Pierson’s student at Washtenaw International High School for the past two years and got to know him very well. Mr. Pierson quickly earned the respect and trust of his colleagues and became an inherent part of the team. Mr. Pierson approaches problems from different angles and often comes up with creative solutions. Mr. Pierson is a hard-working and energetic person, and I have no doubt that he will experience great success in his future career. His motivation and drive enabled him to deliver best results even under time constraints. On many projects, Mr. Pierson was the driving force behind the team. Based on his performance, I have no hesitations in recommending Mr. Pierson. Do feel free to contact me with questions or inquiries. Sincerely, Alan Smithee
Before I met Mr. Pierson I was lost without a home.
Jeremy is the most kind, motivating teacher any student could ever ask for. He sees something in students that people would not normally believe, and he has helped so many dreams become reality. He has provided music to be a safe spot for anyone willing to learn, and if he knows you well enough, he will push to limits you did not believe possible. He has proven not only to the many students he has taught, but me, personally, how important it is to be kind, and have passion in what you love. Without him, I would not be half the person I am in this moment. He has done so many amazing, inspiring things in his life including being in the military, working in two Broadway shows, and above all, being a father and a teacher. He is truly the most well respected man I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. His love for music has moved so many students.