Erin Goeke (Go-Kee) is the choir director at Durham Middle School in Lewisville, Texas. Erin graduated from Sam Houston State University with a degree in Music Therapy. She obtained her certification as a music therapist, but then quickly decided that she could make a bigger impact by becoming a music teacher. She’s just starting her fourth year at Durham and was honored as Teacher of the Year last year. How she handles 200+ 6th, 7th and 8th graders every day is a mystery to me, but I suspect she uses her music therapy skills to keep everybody balanced. This year she introduced a new after school program called “Karaoke with Goeke” which was a big hit! I know her students mean the world to Erin and she means the world to me. In her “spare time,” Erin joined a Sweet Adelines chorus called the Rich-Tones and we will be competing at the International contest in St. Louis in October.
Mrs Coon has been my teacher for 3 years, but she’s been teaching and singing for longer than I’ve been alive. She manages to bring fun into even the most boring songs and makes the hour a day I spend in her class my favorite. Her tireless efforts to make the Chico High choir the best it can be and the love she gives to each and every student makes her not only the best teacher here, but my personal role model.
I am nominating my band teacher, Hope Watts, because she is a constant inspiration for every student she teaches. I also give her props for having to deal with all the drama of high school AND middle school students. She inspired me to become a band teacher. These are some of the reasons why I think Hope Watts is the perfect candidate for teacher of the week.
Amanda has been teaching at the same middle school for her entire decade long career and has grown the program to pushing 400 kids. Many of her students have gone on to be musicians and teachers themselves. This year her Varsity Treble Choir was selected to perform at the 60th National ACDA Conference, the first middle choir in her district’s history. She also has poured into several new teachers over the years when they are her assistant and then move in to run their own programs. More than anything, her students mean everything to her and all she wants is to see them learn to love music. She is the best teacher I know.
Mrs. Clausen always sees the potential in all of her students and wants to do everything she can to help them succeed. She provides them with many opportunities that will help them grow. Not only is she a great teacher, but she’s also a great role model and inspiration.
Dr Russell W Hoffmann
Russell just retired in June from the Princeton Public School System, 36 years there at JW Middle School and 41-1/2 years all together – but still teaches four nights and Saturdays in Flemington, NJ. His students love him and many will have a different teacher but transfer to him. He teaches violin, viola and cello. Plus he has an orchestra that he founded with two friends – Newtown Chamber Orchestra in Newtown, PA starting its 29th Season this fall. He works so hard to bring music to the community and to children – he should qualify for a ‘Teacher of the Week’.
Russ Christensen is the former choir director of the Grammy-Award winning chamber choir at Sprague High School in Salem, Oregon and current director of Oregon State University’s award-winning Meistersingers. He has upheld a tradition of excellence, musicality and poise throughout his career. His ability to direct over 100 students at a time in beautiful order and unison is that of master status. Though he holds his choirs to high standards, he’s able to keep great rapport with his peers and the singers he directs. He’s mastered the ability to keep students engaged, comfortable and motivated toward excellence.
Dr. Angela Broeker
Dr. Broeker is the most loving and generous human being and an incredible Choral music educator. She teaches with such kindness, empathy and grace and is an inspiration to all of the students she comes into contact with. After two weeks of graduate conducting this summer, she gently reminded our class “You are enough. As you already are, you are enough.” Her belief in each of her students is so encouraging…and she is a brilliant musician to boot!
This man has created such a loving environment in our choir deparentment and strives not for perfection, but for us as singers to enjoy ourselves and the music. He genuinely wants us to thrive and enjoy the ride along the way. I’ve never met a more generous and caring man who thoroughly cares for their students. He’s been such a big father figure in my life and loves unconditionally to all his students.
Dr. Andrew Robinette
Dr. Robinette is without a doubt, one of the greatest teachers I have ever had the fortune to study under. Not only is he genuine, but he deeply cares about his job and the students he teaches. Andrew has inspired countless students in the field of Music Education and it is because of him that he inspired me to become a teacher like him and better me as a person. I owe everything to him as he has saved my life in more ways then one.
Mrs Snodgrass has given me so many opportunities to thrive in my choir. We have been able to sing in such places as Carnegie Hall and The White House. This is all due to her tireless work. Her classroom environment is a safe place for all, and her teaching is amazing. She does so much for all of her students. She really goes above and beyond. Mrs Snodgrass truly loves all of her students like a mother.
He brings true musicality to any piece he presents to the choir. They look challenging in regards to language or rhythm but on his off time, he’s in his office, conducting and practicing for our next rehearsal. I will forever be moved at the simple gesture of watching my teacher love what he does in the classroom and be prepared for any questions or trouble areas. His humor and awkwardness helped the process of teaching and creating an unbreakable bond between him, the students, and the piece.
Mrs. Morris is more than just a teacher to a lot of us. She’s a mom. We have a wonderful choir full of talented kids but we all agree that the reason we sing is because of Morris. Even after having a baby of her own she still manages to be there for us whenever we need her. She makes us all the best version of ourselves.
Mr. Roth is an amazing person inside and out. He pushes us to be better everyday, and never lets us give anything but out best. Besides giving us the gift of music, Mr. Roth has been such a positive and supportive person to so many of us in the band program. Because of him, I want to be a music educator. Everyone needs a David Roth in their life.
Brandon has been the Choral Director at Lincoln High School, Rhode Island for 7 years. In his time there, he has helped to build a strong and passionate choir, while helping to build the understanding in the town of why music is important. He also hosts the annual variety show and coaches girls tennis, drawing across lines of expectations that music kids can also be actors, math-wizzes, and jocks. Brandon is an inspiration to the town, the school and his students and his level of dedication is second to none
George Hattingh Jr
He has been a big part in making the dreams of thousands of aspiring sound engineers, including myself, come to life. He is a lecturer and a director at the Academy of Sound Engineering in Auckland Park, South Africa. He is a mentor to me and one of my biggest role models. I truly believe that he is more than worthy for your Teacher of The Week pick.
Mrs. Svenn is the choir director that, ten years later, students still come to for help (musical or otherwise), invite to celebrations, and call for a simple chat. She worked us hard, but lovingly, showing us to be responsible, committed, and passionate in both our musical and daily lives. She opened up her home to us for hot cocoa and Christmas carols in the winter and traveled far with us for fun musical journeys in the spring. She gave us her all, inspiring us to give our all just the same. Today, she is still as inspiring, passionate, and overwhelmingly caring as she was when I first joined choir. It’s a joy to see her choirs perform every season, watching new faces just as in love with music as we were at their age.
Mrs. Glenister has been my choir director for 3, going on 4 years. She not only has helped me learn so much music but has helped my composing/arranging career prosper, in addition to helping me develop perfect pitch
Mr. Gunnar Tietge
Mr. Tietge is the choir director for both Santa Fe junior high and Santa Fe high school. He works tremendously hard to make sure his student are as prepared as they can be. Especially when it comes to UIL or TMEA. He has inspired students like me to pursue my dreams and take action no matter what people may say about you. “It’s not bragging if it’s true!”
He brings humor and so much joy to choir. I’ve never been happier than in his classes. He’s been a father figure for years to me and others should know how amazing he is.