Mr. Rutherford has been teaching in Pasco County school district in Florida, for almost 30 years. Most of his career being at Gulf High School. He is an extraordinary teacher, bringing music, love and plenty of “dad jokes” to his class every day. The students light up when they see him and Mr. Rutherford will always be there to help when a student or colleague is in need. Having grown up in Pasco County, I have known Mr. Rutherford for quite a long time. Although I went to a different high school, he still knew my name and brightened my days whenever I saw him as a teenager and now even more so as a colleague. His band is a place for everyone to feel welcome, learn and grow. Mr. Rutherford serves the “whole student” not just the musician inside and for that I’m sure his students are forever grateful. Over the years he has become not only a phenomenal music educator, but a pillar of the community in our little historic town.
This man is the “Mr. Holland” of Shakopee Highschool. He joined the dwindling band program as a young teacher and has seen it through some pretty amazing growth (and growing pains) in the last nearly 25 years. His passion for music and music education is unsurpassed and I am honored to have learned under him.
Mr. Goff has kindled my love for music and inspired me to pursue a career in music education. He has always pushed his students to achieve more at the highest level. Although his program isn’t perfect without him we would never be to where we are now.
Mr. Rob Vanover day after day leads our choir program in the right direction. From spending his free time helping students with music theory, presenting us with bountiful opportunities for leadership and growth as musicians, to just sitting and listening when we need an open ear, “Mr V” is always there.
In our Chamber choir, we have a tradition of post concert “bagel days.” We spend an entire class eating bagels and just enjoying each other’s company. This was obviously Mr V’s idea because old people LOVE brunch food. Bagel days are a sacred occasion. They are a constant reminder that we are more than the sound we produce on stage, we are every single person that steps foot into the choir room, we are the loud cackles when a new quote of the day is written on our whiteboard, we are the gefilte fish that is rumored to be hidden somewhere in the title ceiling, we are a family. Mr Vanover gave us that.
Kirsten Carpenter (KC)
SHE IS AMAZING!!! She has made choir a safe and fun place for everyone. She inspires everyone to make music and build community on the daily no matter who you are. One of my favorite things she does is she puts a chair in the middle of our choir room and everyone goes around in a circle and says something we appreciate about the person in the chair. On top of that, she’s always interested to hear what students have to say, even if it’s completely random, and makes choir something to look forward to each day. Though she has only been with our program for a little less than a year, she has greatly impacted everyone and is always there for us students. She keeps our program thriving in all aspects, and we greatly appreciate everything she does for us!!!
She is the most patient teacher ever, and always has time to hear what you have to say. She will always push us to be the best students we can while creating a fun yet driven classroom.
Mrs.Carpenter is new to our school this year and she is thriving. She handles us with such Grace and patience and kindness. She creates such amazing music with us and what may seem like picky things, she creates into beautiful adjustments. She’s always looking for ways to connect with us and have us create better connections with each other. She doesn’t let us forget why we sing and she keeps us motivated to keep giving our best. We’ve only known her since august and she’s already created such an amazing impact.
Ms. Carpenter is the most inspiring choir teacher I’ve ever had. She teaches us about the techniques of choral music while also inspiring our ideas about the meaning behind what we’re singing. Our choir sounds incredible thanks to her and everyone just adores her !
She is the sweetest most loving teacher ever. She is always ready to step up and be bold and make choices for the choir. She is the best friend and companion. She needs to know how much our choir cares about her because she jumped in to be a sub teacher for a year. She is amazing and lovely.
She may just be our interim choir director but she has taken on this role with such grace and drive. She’s never shied away from challenging us and pushing us out of our comfort zone, and she’s offered us an entirely new way of singing that has made us infinitely more adaptive singers in every way. You can tell she loves what she does and her goal is always to build us up and gives us critiques that make think about what we’re doing, not just going through the motions. I think I speak for everyone in my choir when I say I’ve never been more confident in my voice and my singing ability because of her encouragement, and it’s made for one of the best choir experiences I’ve ever had. She works tirelessly all for us to reap the benefits and I believe that she deserves a benefit of her own. We as a choir program love Eric Whitacre and to be honored by him would be the perfect way to she her our appreciation and how much we love her.
I am nominating Ms. Carpenter because she came in to teach for just this year after a long line of a father and a daughter producing and tending to the choral department at RV. Our teacher last year (the daughter) is having her baby and she’s coming back next year, and she needed someone to fill in for just one year. Ms. Carpenter came in, and she has done an absolutely incredible job at hitting the ground running and getting all 5 choirs to perform at least 4 songs each at each choir concert, running the choir boosters, and getting to form amazing bonds with all 60 students she has. Love you Ms. Carpenter!
He spends every day sharing his joy of music with his students. I am one of his past students, and I am now a music education major in hopes to be like him one day. He studied band in college, but was thrown into choir when he came to his high school. Despite that, he created an excellent choir who has gone on to competitions and sing collegiate level music.
Mrs. Michelle Uhler
I have worked very closely with Mrs. Uhler throughout my time at Morris Hills High School. Freshman-Junior year I was completely lost with who I was going to become. My senior year, she became my Mentor for an Independent Study project where I started my own Tenor-Bass choir. Teaching that group with her help, I realized I wanted to be a vocal teacher. She shaped my future. Last year, she gave us the opportunity of a lifetime: performing at Carnegie Hall. We submitted a video of our best performance of one of our favorite pieces, and to our shock, our school’s group was chosen. “The Scarlet Singers” were a part of Eric’s debut of The Sacred Veil and we were ecstatic. It was some of the best 3 days I have ever spent in NYC. So many insane memories from that time we had I could never stop naming them. It truly changed my life and it is all thanks to Mrs. Uhler.
I’ve been really lucky and had the chance to work with Eli for over 5 years now, and I can confidently say he’s one of the most fantastic people I’ve ever met. He’s incredibly kind and caring, always putting everyone else’s needs over everything else, and is the best listener. I know I can talk to him about anything and he’ll always be on my side. High school hasn’t been easy for me, offering plenty of challenges from others and myself, but there’s always been one constant in my life and it’s him. Not only is he a fantastic person, Eli has also been crucial in rebuilding the choir community, as it was left in complete shambles by the previous directors. Watching the choirs grow over my years of being in them is magical. There are many educators who can teach, but there are very few that inspire. Eli is one of them. He directs, he composes, he performs… He has made the choir room a home to hundreds. I’m so grateful I’ve gotten to work with him, and I owe him the world.
Mrs. Mercado is by far the most amazing teacher and person. If you need help with anything she is there no matter what. She always brings a smile to my face and has changed my life musically forever. She helped me go from not sight-reading at all to becoming a Texas All-stater. She puts her heart into everything she does and I will forever be grateful for her presence in my life.
Mrs. Provence is everything a person wants and needs out of a mentor; she’s hardworking, kind, and a forgiving person. She has put so much effort into our choir and brought us to Carnegie Hall in the spring of 2022 to perform The Sacred Veil under Mr. Whitacre. She’s an amazing violinist and performs on her own time as well as directs three choirs. All in all, this amazing woman has worked so hard to get us where we are and never stops supporting her students and everyone else around her. Specifically, the class of 2023 choir students will never forget her. She’s helped us grow into better people and taught us how to share a community with others like us. Thank you, Mrs. Provence, for everything.
My nominee has worked extremely hard to bring our choir program to the level it’s at now. She’s only been with my school for about 6 or so years, and last year we came to New York to perform The Sacred Veil in Carnegie Hall. She’s a kind, hardworking woman who cares for each and every one of her students.
Brandon Troy Baker
Mr.Baker is like a commet. He soars at the speed of light (literally), to allow our choir to succeed in our goals. Without him we would not have been able to have a program that continues to grow, the way it has. He continues to mentor new students to professional musicians with his knowledge. Mr.Baker works hard to make sure everything is on time, it’s like our program has escaped purgatory because of his persistence. From dropping everything in Georgia and moving to Texas this year to take over- that takes a lot of energy and risk, so we are very glad he is with us now. We only move forward from here, and one thing he always reminds us is “too make good choices!”
We love you Mr.Baker!
In the craziness of school, Mann is the one teacher who I know who can bring positive light to any stressful situation. He gives it his all each and every day, while being a father to three children! He is able to balance being the head of the theatre department here at my school, along with the “tech supervisor” of our auditorium! When it comes to theatre, Mr. Mann has been able to create talented students and crew members who have gone on to do amazing things. He is an advocate for every student, not matter who they are. He is an inspiration, and someone I look up to. He is always prepared with an answer, and brings so much potential to our school’s theatre program. Mann is one of the reasons why I want to continue acting in the future. He is the reason why my passion has continued to bloom and flourish. Thank you, Mr. Mann.
Mr. Powers has helped me grow in my music studies as well as encouraging me to challenge my self by participating in things like region band. Mr. Powers dedicates so much time into the program, and really cares about his students. He puts in a lot of hard work in order to make the West Florence Band operate, and I’m thankful for him!
My choir teacher, Molly Jones, is an inspiration for all to be. She is loving, kind, and looks out for all her students. No matter what she is going through, she puts everyone else before her. Ms. Jones makes everyone feel included and heard. Never have I seen a day where she hasn’t tried to improve the daily lives of her other students. She has completely changed my life, for the better. I will always owe it to her. Thank you Ms. Jones.
Miss Jones is so much more than a teacher. When she teaches us music, she not only helps us perform it to the best of our ability, but she herself puts all of her energy into it and more. What makes her so special, though, is her readiness to help out even outside of choir. She’s ready to listen to you vent about your least favorite teachers, or even listen to you excitedly ranting about how your day is going. She is the most welcoming teacher at our school, and I believe many agree she is much more than a choir director. She will forever impact our lives for the better.
Mr. Coughlin is an incomparable teacher. He has multiple responsibilities at our local high school and leads multiple music programs. He teaches a number of ensembles including, concert band, marching band, wind ensemble, and choir. He has also taught technical courses such as digital music and music theory. He impacts students and they witness his influence on all of the Music Programs. Some of his students say “Every music group he touched he had a big influence on.” (Lexi Cruz class of ’22) and another describes him as “easily…the best teacher I’ve ever had” (Abigail King class of ’23). Mr. Coughlin is the reason most of the music programs at the high school exist. He’s the reason I have decided to pursue music education and thanks to him, I have the opportunity to coach my high school choir alongside him. He is a huge inspiration and role model for many. His humble attitude hides the years of dedication and sleepless nights that he has given to doing what he loves; teaching music.
I’m nominating Carlin Truong because of his dedication to his students in the classroom and beyond. He gave me and my peers the skills to be musicians, not just singers. Even after moving on with different teachers I find myself asking for his advice and support. He made the complexities of music theory easy for us to grasp and utilize on our own. He brought our program to life and gave us opportunities we couldn’t have dreamed of with anyone else. He did so much for us that we never knew. He’s always there when we need extra help or even if we just need someone to talk to. I wouldn’t have made it through high school without his support and the environment he created in the classroom. I’m beyond grateful and proud that I got the chance to learn under him.
Kelli has worked as a choir director at a middle school for over 20 years. She has directed plays for youth and adults and directs the community choir for adults in our county. Kelli is endlessly supportive of her students and of the adults who have a passion for music. She is selfless in her commitments to all of the groups she works with by going above and beyond. Kelli is incredibly talented and has a gift for inspiring others. I’m proud to call her friend. She has revealed to countless others the beauty of so many compositions over the course of her career. She deserves so much more than her teacher position can offer.
The Greeley Central High School choir council nominated Richard Green for Teacher of the week! Mr. Green pushes us to our full potential, creating high expectations for us and guiding us so that we can meet and exceed those expectations. He treats us as equals and is not afraid to have fun with us, but still is willing to crack down when it is time to work hard. He inspires us to become better musicians and people through his constant faith in our abilities. He is always willing to have an insightful conversation, whether he is needing out about music theory or teaching us the best way to roast coffee. From him, we have learned to “never underestimate your ability to bore an audience”, to “listen, remember, write it down, breathe, and sing” and to give one hundred percent all the time. We are so grateful to have a teacher who helps us achieve high standards of excellence and serves as our mentor in music and in life.
I am nominating Mrs Trump because she is a wonderful human and teacher. She put so much time and effort into making her student successful. She makes everyone love choir, and I have never met a single person who has said that they do not like her. She makes sure we succeed in choir, but also life. She puts life lessons into her daily “lectures”. She has put so many years and time into our choir program and she does not always get the recognition she deserves. She is the main reason our program is so successful. She helps us bring life into our music. She made me love music so much more than I ever thought I could. I am in three choirs with her and seeing her is the brightest part of my day sometimes. She can light up a room in the matter of seconds. I have never met anyone more dedicated to anything than her.
Mrs. Trump is unlike any other teacher I’ve had! All day, even in the early morning or evening rehearsals, she gives her all to us and makes it easy to get into the moment, and forget everything else outside the classroom because that’s the example she leads. Personally, I never saw choir as something I was good at or could become good at, but Mrs. Trump shows all her students as long as they want to be there and do the work, singing is for anyone and everyone. She’s creative, kind, and persistent; even when the choir as a whole is not bringing the energy, she is!
Mrs. Trump is unlike any other teacher I’ve had! All day, even in the early morning or evening rehearsals, she gives her all to us and makes it easy to get into the moment, and forget everything else outside the classroom because that’s the example she leads. Personally I never saw choir as something I was good at or could become good at, but Mrs. Trump shows all her students as long as they want to be there and do the work, singing is for anyone and everyone. She’s creative, kind, and persistent; even when the choir as a whole is not bringing the energy, she is!
Mrs. Trump is not only a teacher, but a mentor. Every day she gives all her students her full effort and has built up a program around her that reflects her passion and drive. At school, I constantly look forward to the next time I will be in her classroom. She creates an environment with high expectations and high rewards. I have yet to meet another teacher who inspires their students like Mrs. Trump. In the past month, two former students have visited our class, just because she has made our program is such a great place to be. One of them is majoring in music, and the other is pursuing their PhD in musicology. Beyond being a fabulous teacher, she is someone you can always turn to. She has given me a safe space to feel at home. She helped me discover one of my greatest passions in life: music. This year has been particularly difficult for her, and yet she continues to work as hard as she can to get us to be better every day. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of recognition.
She has made me love choir so much more than I ever thought I could. She is such an amazing teacher that I am doing three choirs with her. She is not only a wonderful director but she also teaches us how to be good people. She likes to add a life lesson into everything we do. She is a perfect candidate for teacher of the week
Mrs. Trump is an outstanding director because she constantly motivates her choirs to improve, not to impress her or get a score from a judge, but to feel music for ourselves. Her strong emphasis on a program fueled by student leadership and drawing inspiration from one another creates an environment where students are driven to learn and grow like in no other place and where meaningful, lasting friendships are cultivated. It is truly a privilege to work with a director with such passion for helping young singers be the best they can be.
Jeremy is an extraordinary high school choir teacher. He sets an expectation of great learning every day and has the respect of all his students. Pitches are the least important part of his teaching philosophy; He pushes his students to feel the music and let their musicality “dance” with him, as well as calls on us to understand the theory and be able to actually read the pages ourselves. Perhaps one of the best things about Jeremy Davis is his chorus for students with special needs. An ensemble that combines student volunteers as well as any special needs student that wants to learn music. He adapts his program to fit their learning style and teaches his other students how to do it too so that when young aspiring music educators finally get their degree and have their own program, they have no excuse not to offer the same opportunity for their students as well. Above all, it’s easy to see he makes sure every single student has access to a thoughtful, choral music education.