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2016 COMEA Nominees

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Chicagoland Outstanding Music Educator Awards Nominee List - 2016

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Nominee’s name School-City “I feel this candidate should be considered because...” Submitted by Year (s)
Charles Abplannup Evanston Township HS Mr. "A" has consistently produced high quality musicians and ensembles, including a symphony orchestra that performed at the 2013 Midwest Clinic with Maestro Leonard Slotkin. David Foster 2013
Doug Adams Frankfort Dist 157C (edited) The music department at Hickory Creek Middle School has had some enormously great accomplishments in the past years. I have noted that many of the past Q-F awards have gone to previous student teachers of mine. Doug Adams, the assistant director at our school was also a former student teacher, and I feel that it is his turn to be counted among your outstanding music educators. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois and graduated with top honors in the instrumental music department there. After graduate school the position evolved slowly into the full time instrumental position that Doug has now. His current duties are as director of a 6-7-8 concert band, beginning band director, jazz band director, and drum line instructor. Doug also arranges music for our ensembles. This is especially helpful when we need parts the non-traditional instruments that play in our jazz band. He is also able to arrange duets for the solo and ensemble contest, when a student requests to do a duet such as a tenor saxophone/trombone duet, and music that doesn’t exist. He also accompanies many Dana Shoemaker 2005
Doug Adams Frankfort Dist 157C students at the solo and ensemble contest (this year 30 events!) and accompanies the choir. Doug arranged all of the music for and produced a CD to be used with the school musical. In addition to the school duties, he also works as a music journalist with frequent contributions to the “Film Score Monthly” magazine. Doug is also currently working on a book of documentation for the composer Howard Shore and his movies “Lord of the Rings.” Doug is able to share his experiences with the students here. Last year the band performed an arrangement from the movie, and Doug could relate his experience with hearing the music for the third movie recorded live in London. The program here at Hickory Creek Middle School has reached some great heights despite the fact that most of the band program is run out of the school day. It is with my great pleasure to nominate Doug Adams for this year’s award. His contributions are many and great    
Georgia Alemis Hadley JH - Glen Ellyn   Lisa Kiener-Barnett 2005
Georgia Alemis Hadley JH - Glen Ellyn for the last 10 years she has consistently produced excellent string orchestras. Through her excellent teaching and enthusiasm, the orchestra program in Dist 41 has grown and flourished Don Crews 2006
Rich Alifautis Benet Academy HS working hard to recruit in junior highs. Hosts pep band night for junior highs. Dan Marcotte 2013
Frank Alongi Old Quarry MS I feel that frank Alongi has done an outstanding job with the Old Quarry program after the music program was cut. It is of excellent quality for an all after school program and his jazz band is terrific. Scott Gumina 2016
Erin Ambre Lincoln School District 156 She has been a huge help to me during my first year at Lincoln. She is a great educator who cares about her kids' education. Chris Darwell 2016
Corey Ames Loyola Academy He has been a Grammy Quarterfinalist many years in a row and has now been accepted as a "legacy" nominee. Loyola Bands have grown heavily since his tenure. International travel. Community performances (jazz @ car show). Megan Ames 2016
Cathy Anderson Old Quarry MS It gives me great pleasure to write a recommendation for Cathy Anderson who is an exemplary musician, conductor, and teacher. It is a rare occasion when a musician and teacher like Cathy can come into a student's life and change things for the better. During the last fifteen years, I have enjoyed her presence in class everyday. She extends herself to students and teachers alike and they reap the benefits of her generosity and knowledge. I have had the opportunity of observing and teaching with Cathy in Beginning Band, Concert Band, Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble. She has earned respect through her skillful, warm, and intense teaching style. Cathy's dedication to her students was exemplified when she decided to earn her Master's Degree in Special Education. The skills and knowledge she acquired with this degree, has benefited numerous special needs students in our band program. Cathy's outstanding organizational skills are an example of her ability to anticipate and implement whatever needs to be done to benefit our band students and the department as a whole. In terms of Ken Marx 2009
Cathy Anderson Old Quarry MS Cathy's personal characteristics, students and teachers alike would say that she is personable, responsible, and caring. Her energy is boundless and she takes pride in the work she does with students and faculty. Many of our lunchtime conversations revolve around student learning and how to help students grow as musicians. Cathy knows the culture and is a strong advocate for Old Quarry Middle School. To that end, I highly recommend Cathy Anderson for the 2009 Chicagoland Outstanding Music Educator Award.    
Cathy Anderson Old Quarry MS … of her many years of dedication and commitment to the art of music education Kyle Rinke 2010, 2011
Paul Anderson (retired) Thornwood HS Continuous quality over 24 years against adversity - block; rifs, funding; you name it. He's survived. Joe Malik 2013
Rick Anderson Minooka HS   Kevin Becker 2010
Victor Anderson Yorkville HS I feel this candidate should be considered because he more than exemplifies everything a music teacher should be. He has humbly taken a small town music program and developed it into one of the best programs in the state. Without much fanfare and even fewer resources, he has motivated his students to achieve some incredible things. He has motivated his students to reach for and earn more awards than I could possibly list here. It is rare to find a person that is doing exactly what they are meant to do at the exact right moment in time. Mr. Anderson is that person. Watching Mr. Anderson in action is almost poetic as it is more than evident that he working in a career in which he loves and very much excels. He has influenced many of his students to continue on in music as future educators, performers, directors, and even composers. But most of all, he has given our children a lifelong love and understanding of music. He is one of the most dedicated and hardworking people I have ever met. Mr. Anderson is an outstanding mention, leader, and teacher of music education. He has recently been named the Student Band and Orchestra “Director That Has Made A Difference” for the State of Illinois for 2015. Deborah Katula 2016
Laura Armstrong Dirksen JHS My daughter has this director and she loves her and that she is a a great director who helps with what ever having trouble with any thing. She is indeed a great director Brigida Oloarte 2015
Carolyn Awe Woodland MS jazz and symphonic bands have consistently received Division 1 ratings at contest. Greg Zalapi 2013
Carl Ayento Saucedo JHS Scholastic Academy He has built the most solid elementary band program in the city of Chicago, investing untold hours and personal resources. He has also led the All-City Elementary Concert Band to a new level of performance. Ted Ehnle 2012
Eric Bachmann Emerson MS Eric has worked with our students on several occasions at Ridgewood and always does a fantastic job. He is full of energy and excitement and keeps the students focused and motivated. He is an outstanding professional who I believe is deserving of the award. / outstanding with kids and colleagues one of top directors in area mentor S. Klaus 2014, 2010
James Barnard Gwendolyn Brooks MS James is extremely dedicated to his position, often going well beyond his described job adding extra concerts and opportunities for students to work with other musicians and clinicians. He teaches his students through example how to be complete musicians and people. Tom Kanwischer 2010
R. Scott Barnas Washington JHS (Joliet) There is a special air in the Washington band room. During his tenure as band director of the Washington Quadrant bands, Scott has fostered an atmosphere of comradery, discipline, and appreciation of tradition that has allowed the band to thrive. Not only do the students play very well, but they understand that band is more than just a place to make music. They learn to be accepting of those who are different. It is a place where all students who are willing to work hard can find a sense of belonging. This year, the students in the band started a “tie association”. Students arrive before school, congregate in the band room, and don themselves in bow ties and straight ties. Students have formed a quotation committee that posts humorous illustrations of various discussions that have occurred in class. I am privileged to hear the Washington Band perform on a regular basis. This is a band that plays with superior intonation, with a clear tone, and with rhythmic accuracy. The students conduct themselves in a manner that honors the long tradition of band in the Joliet Grade Schools. Because of Scott’s love of music and his recognition of the importance of the great tradition, the students understand that they have been entrusted by those who have gone before them with the honor and challenge of maintaining the band’s prestige. As a result of the tremendous work that Scott has done with the students, the band program has grown in number and skill. I highly recommend he be awarded this honor. Melissa Schoonover 2016
John Barone (retired) Summit Dist 104 JHS He has given over 30 years of music education service to Dist. 104. He has also taken his elementary band cross county to perform for numerous years. He hosts an annual jazz festival. He runs the Dist. 104 Spelling Bee and NJHA. He is also an all around nice guy, is well thought of by his students and is well respected among the parents, his peers, staff, and administrators. He has had a lifetime of success at Summit 104. James Shaw 2012, 2006
Richard Bauer (retired) Neuqua Valley HS-retired of his ability to raise the bar for even the most gifted musicians. He is a master teacher. C. Stalz 2013
Richard Bauer (retired) Neuqua Valley HS superior knowledge of string pedagogy and excellent dedication to the professional and personal needs of his students and colleagues Greg Schwaegleer 2013
Richard Bauer (retired) Neuqua Valley HS When I visit or walk by Mr. Bauer's class, I am amazed at the sounds I hear. Mr. Bauer has an incredible way of getting his students to perform at their highest level. We hear this every day at NV, and this was very evident at the recent Midwest clinic. His Chamber Strings class performed an exceptional concert that included incredibly challenging music. Jonathan Lauff 2013
Chris Barnum Prospect HS Chris has done a great job following Dave Morrison at Prospect. His band performs at a high level and he relates with his students very well. Mike Fiske 2009
Mike Bazan Wredling MS Mike should definitely be considered for this honor because he is an amazing band director, wonderful colleague, and an impressive musician. Mike is wonderful band director because he always gets great results out of the kids AND they adore him. His rapport with the kids is inspiring. Mike is also an awesome colleague. He is always willing to help and has been a great mentor for me. Mike should also be considered be cause he walks the talk. He not only teaches music but he is very active musician outside of school. Again, very inspiring. Jim Pesek 2015
Jan Beagley Liberty MS went out of her way to reach out to me being in the first year of teaching beginner strings. She is in her last year of teaching and has contributed many years of hard work in D300. Adam Brown 2014
Matt Becker Memorial JHS He is dedicated to his work, students, and his profession. He's always looking for opportunities for his students and is active within his community. Jessica Boese 2014
Andrew Beckwith Lockport Township High School Andrew has been an asset to the band community. He frequently clinics and leads both middle and high school groups. He has stepped up in ILMEA to the leadership Team in charge of HS PD. And as an extra bonus…he's just a super nice guy. Phil Robb 2016
Joyce Beernink Johnsburg JHS exceptional group if ladies who love what they do and work hard to produce fine performances from their young musicians. Randy Sundell 2013
Eric Beltran Lindop School …of the excellent work he has done building Nazareth Academy into a strong, solid band program. His work has made Nazareth a shining example of what can be achieved with patience, time and a student center approach to learning. Brendan Koch 2008
Elizabeth (Magill) Bennett Buffalo Grove HS She consistently creates opportunities for her students to achieve musically and establishes positive relationships with them. Lauren Wargaski 2010
Dana Berry Thomas MS Dana is an incredibly humble, hard-working educator and has put on a fantastic Middle School Jazz Festival for 15 years now. Thanks, Dana, for your hard work and dedication! Mike Malek 2012
Cassandra Blas Central MS (formerly) she consistently displays a high level of musicianship while also serving as a great mentor Matthew Becker 2014
Barbara Blum Avery Coonley JHS …she is an excellent teacher. John Seger 2011
David Blythe Worth JHS David Blyth at Worth Junior High has always had a solid program for many years…..even though he is my contemporary, I view him as a mentor….. Doug Horne 2012
Darryl Boggs (retired) Lindop Elementary Hardest working man in the business Kent Minor 2010
Darryl Boggs (retired) Lindop Elementary In my brief time visiting Darryl, he’s got a wonderful chemistry with his kids. I’ve listened to him play/teach one on one with his students, either sitting at the piano and passing along some old music history along with rhythmic direction to a young drummer student who wants to play set. To hearing him lead a session in class with African drums and just getting his students to understand the process of building multiple and varied rhythmic patterns. His kids love him. Darryl’s been teaching for 27 years and has been with Q&F 16 of those. He’s now working with Reginald Wright and Dave Weinstein to try and get an honors/all star band together for kids in his district who don’t get much opportunity for extra-curricular music in the Broadview area; much like what Andy Marchese started in DuPage. And he’s not a bad musician!! Gosh dang the man can PLAY!!! And I have been trying to help Darryl coordinate an exchange concert program with Mike Teolis and the Latin School (Darryl will take his kids to Latin School to rehearse and perform in concert with Mike’s students and band). Just might fly this next year! Rob Scott (Q&F) 2010
Joey Bonanotte Lace Elem. School (Darien) He is dedicated to his profession & his students. He is a great motivator and is well respected by his administrator. Kathy Thorton 2014
Rita Borkowski St. Charles Dist 303 Elem Orch tireless in her pursuit of excellence for her students and our district. accomplished educator that gets consistent results year after year. team player seeking to participate in every area of districts improvement process. Carol Dallstream 2006
Lindsey Boyette Harvard Junior High School She spends countless hours working with students in her building. She also volunteers many hours to help with the high school program. Korey Coffer 2016
Dan Brame Deerfield HS I feel this candidate should be considered because of his tireless efforts with his students. He also shows great dedication to the future of music education by working with many student teachers. He was a wonderful mentor and cooperating teacher for me when I was his student teacher in 2005. He has made me the successful educator that I am today. Dan Brame also demonstrates great commitment to his school by completing 20 years at Deerfield High School. He is also a wonderful mentor to his young high school students that intend to study music education. This year he took an aspiring music educator with him to the IMEA conference in Peoria. That kind of dedication to both his craft and his students should be rewarded. his organization and enthusiasm are inspiration for his students and to the student-teachers he mentors. Brian Goodman 2013, 2008 & 2009
Katie Brown Crone MS I would like to nominate Katie Brown, orchestra teacher at Crone Middle School :) for the Outstanding Music Educator. She has worked very hard this year with her orchestra that is full of violas! It has been a fun situation! She is creative and organized as she has come up with new ideas to play quality music with her unique instrumentation. She is also extremely innovative with her fiddle ideas for middle school students. It gives students a reason to jump out of bed so early in the morning to attend rehearsals. She is supportive of her orchestra colleagues and always willing to lend a hand. In addition, she has been very busy teaching private lessons after school and enlightening middle school violin and viola players throughout the district. Her private students feel very comfortable to ask questions and make musical discoveries in her presence. Katie always has a smile! Kristina Enstrom Figuerres 2007
Jeremy Budrow Holmes MS He has built a program at HMS that has not only improved but continued to improve and keep a good reputation of success. Steve Thomas 2015
Matt Bufis Evanston Twp. HS …he is a great advocate for music education as well as a very personable instructor. Great with kids! Tom Tedeschi 2012
J.W. (Will) Burck Waubonsie Valley HS After 6 years as a Dept. Chair, Will has returned back to full time teaching, enjoying the fruits of his labors over these past years. He is positive, musical, resourceful and a fantastic colleague! I have seen him coach the most advanced ensemble and work directly with one young struggling student - with both ends of the spectrum and all in between. He is patient, motivating, enthusiastic, and he demands high quality in a nurturing way. He is directly responsible for the positive vibe in the orchestra room and is fantastic to collaborate with. Will embodies all that is an excellent orchestra teacher and is well deserving of an honor of this magnitude. Daryl Silberman 2014
Earl Bush Antioch MS Greg remembers from 6th grade, seeing his marching band and how good it was! From that moment on, Greg wanted to be part of his band and ended up pursuing Music Education as a degree in college and career Greg Zalapi 2010
Chris Buti Rolling Meadows HS Chris' ensembles have performed at a very high level and have earned high marks & awards in area marching band, concert band, and jazz competitions. In addition Chris has been the director of the largest scholastic jazz festival in the Midwest, Jazz in the Meadows, which features performances by over 60 schools from multiple Midwestern states. Few can match his over 20 years of dedication and excellence in music education. He is also a great colleague with which to work. Kevin Carroll 2014
Chris Buti Rolling Meadows HS Chris has developed the Rolling Meadows Band program into an outstanding program in 4 years. He organized a winter guard, which has won many awards; has expanded the jazz program, & doubled the size of the concert & symphonic bands Kendall Hastings 2005
Chuck Byte (retired) Barrington Elementary Schools He gives of himself each and every day to the masses of students he sees and produces quality musicians who love and enjoy music. Another unsung hero of the profession. During his 4 years at Wauconda HS, he consistently produced bands that played grade 5 literature beautifully, musically, and emotionally beyond their years, with very few who studied privately AND with no more than a horn section of one. He did not believe in denying kids the experience of performing great literature well just because his instrumentation was not that of other suburban wind ensembles. He got the kids to play so well because he truly loved working with them and cared about them first as people, not musicians. As now retired principal Jack Rayburn attests, Chuck had a certain magic when it came to what he could get out of those kids. They absolutely adored him. Now in Barrington for the past (almost) 12 years, the same is true for the 5th grade beginners he instructs. The kids love him and are so excited to come to lessons. He is a master educator of beginning students as can be attested by the middle schools he feeds. For the past 11 years he had also taught jazz band at one of the middle schools that feeds BHS. The kids he started have gone on to make top District 7 IMEA jazz groups at both the middle school and high school levels. Luana Byte 2013, 2010
Marla Caballero Fremd High School She always is thinking forward about her students. She is a dedicated music educator and overall fantastic person. Guadalupe Garcia 2016
Patrick Cantagallo Hawthorn MS North I believe Pat is a fantastic band director and has grown a strong band program at the middle school. He is very uplifting and positive with the students and is an all-around great guy. Katie Bartel 2013
Rizelle Capito Fenwick HS She demonstrates exemplary leadership as a teacher, colleague, and department chair. She is always looking for more ways to make music visible and relevent to the band students and our entire school community. Andrew Thompson 2016
Rizelle Capito Fenwick HS she always goes above and beyond to make the kids enjoy band. Laura Wsol 2013
Rizelle Capito Fenwick HS she cares deeply about her students and music education Andrew Thompson 2013
Mark Carrera Lane Tech HS have worked tirelessly to foster the love of music in high school students, most of who just started playing/singing their freshman year of high school. The amount of growth these students show in four years, rivals that of programs the start in elementary school. Being a product of their teaching I can tell you first hand that these men are two of best teachers I've ever had. They always available to their students and work with them after/before school without pay so that their students can have every opportunity to be successful. I wouldn't be the musician or the teacher I am today without them. Dion Morales 2014
Fernando Carrillo Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School, Oak Park I feel this candidate should be considered because of his passion for music and teaching. He is committed to teaching his students and maintaining a high quality orchestra program at his school. I met Fernando in college, where he was principal oboe (after only playing the oboe for a couple of years!). He also played violin on the side, just for fun. Since then, Fernando has become an accomplished violinist, performing with great musicality and technique, and playing in area orchestras. His passion for what he does is evident when you meet him, and his students are extremely lucky to have him as a teacher! Carolyn Berger 2011
Richard Case St. Hubert School He’s an excellent educator John Janusek -Grove JHS 2000
Richard Case St. Hubert, St.Marys and St. Anne I feel this candidate should be considered because of his 30+ years of outstanding work instructing school bands within the Chicagoland Catholic School System. His organizational skills have also provided Festivals and Band Camps of the highest quality for the schools he instructs and many of the other Chicago area Catholic Schools and Public Schools that wisely choose to participate. Mr. Case, through his many years of working with the newest publications in the school band music repertoire during his band camp each year, has accumulated a vast knowledge of band music publications and is an excellent resource in this area. John Janusek 2009, 2010
Richard Case St. Hubert School Nuff said! Kevin Carroll 2010
Clark Chaffee Stevenson H.S. (retired) ..years of dedication, program excellence, orchestra vice president for IMEA All-State, now retiring. Charles Abplanalp 2012
Mindi Chase Newark H.S. Mindi has taken a virtually non-existent program at Newark Community HS to an outstanding program at both our high school and neighboring elementary schools. Mindi works with 60 HS band students out of enrollment of 182 and then teaches other music classes at the high school before travelling to the MS where she has 45 students in grades 5-8. The impact Ms. Chase has had on all of these students goes without question. Several of these students continue to study music and band in college and hopefully become musicians or band teachers like Mindi. Amy Smith 2015
Mindi Chase Newark H.S. I have had the pleasure of working with Miss Mindi Chase on a number of occasions and in various settings over the course of many years. She is one of the most outstanding young music educators working in the State of Illinois today. I am very proud to have her as a colleague and to represent our profession. Mindi is a fine musician and scholar in her own right and brings her enthusiasm and work ethic to everything she is involved with. These traits are clearly evident in phenomenal growth and development of the band program in Newark, IL. In 2002, the then superintendent of schools asked for my help in finding a director that would bring the ailing band program back to life. I encouraged him to hire Mindi Chase. She has a wonderful balance of pedagogical knowledge, high standards for herself and students and, most importantly, great "people skills". The program in Newark has grown from 3 Jr. HS members and 6 HS members before her arrival, to the current enrollment of 27 beginning, 59 JRHS, and 30 HS members. The quality of the musical education of these students receive Rachel Maxwell 2010
Mindi Chase Newark H.S. has gone from nonexistent to exemplary as the band has been able to travel and perform at venues around the country. A great strength of Miss Chase is her outstanding administrative skills. She is very talented in organizational and administrative tasks that are part of any music educator's job. She is very thorough and professional in her communications and written work. Mindi's ability to manage the growth of the program at Newark is evidence of these talents. I have worked with Miss Chase's bands a number of times in her years at Newark and it has always been a delightful experience. Mindi also student taught at Traughber JRHS in Oswego during the spring 2002. She had the opportunity to work with the Beginning, concert, symphonic, and jazz bands. During her time at Traughber she did excellent work with ever ensemble. The students were captivated by her warm personality and her ability to relate to and work with young people was evident. She was able to form a connection with the groups while still maintaining an "on-task" learning environment. Miss Chase truly enjoys young people and the environment that can develop through music education. I considered her a colleague during student teaching...    
Sue Childress Johnsburg JHS Sue has been at Johnsburg since 1982. Her high expectations and musicianship have consistently earned her bands and choirs division I ratings at both district and state IGSMA contests. exceptional group if ladies who love what they do and work hard to produce fine performances from their young musicians. Randy Sundell 2013, 2012, 2011
Sue Childress Johnsburg JHS She has delivered a quality music program year in and year out for a over 25 years. Even with her instructional minutes being reduced, she still gets a high level of musicality from the students. Joyce Beernink 2010
Mary Ciccotelli Lincoln MS Mary is totally dedicated to teaching band. She finds a way to connect with each student to enable them to be successful. She respects students by expecting them to work hard to achieve their goals. Mary has built a wonderful percussion program at LMS. She is retiring this year, and she will be sorely missed. Brian Jacobi 2016
Sue Clemons Conrady JHS (North Palos 117) Sue is a quality music educator and has consistently had a great program for many years. She is very deserving of this award. Ray ? 2016
Sue Clemons Conrady JHS (North Palos 117) She has spent her entire career dedicated to enriching the lives of middle school students. Susan is also a highly accomplished pianist. Mark Hodges 2016
Sue Clemons Conrady JHS (North Palos 117) She has continually had a successful program in spite of continued restrictive district policies.   2016
Sue Clemons Conrady JHS (North Palos 117) Sue has done a tremendous job with Conrady Junior High School. Their program's numbers are increasing. They've received consistent superior ratings at festival and she serves as a true advocate for music in public schools and music in the community. Bob Mecozzi 2016
Sue Clemons Conrady JHS (North Palos 117) Sue has done an exceptional job at Conrady as she continues to build and expand her program even amidst reductions to the general music/choir programs. Sue prepares her students extremely well so that they are successful at the next level. Bob Mecozzi 2015
Jennifer Clorh Liberty JHS She is very good for music education . She is active in IGSMA and IMEA Chris b. 2010
Korey Coffer Harvard HS He is a rock star. Lindsey Boyette 2016
Korey Coffer Harvard HS …of his dedication of his students and community of Harvard, IL Lindsey Boyette 2015
Andrew Collins Jacob HS Andrew has been teaching at Jacobs High School in Algonquin for the past 5 years. In that time he has built an extraordinary program that caters to students of all needs and ability levels to participate in a choral program. During his tenure there his top two groups have traveled to the IMEA All-State conference for performances in 2008 and 2011 as well as a performance at the National School Boards Association Conference in San Diego, California. His passion is sharing and making music with his students and he works tirelessly to do so. Polly Collins 2011
Jim Colombo Hauser MS is an outstanding teacher who sees over a very large program at Hsue. In addition, Jim is the creative mind & drill master for Stagg's Marching Band Stagg HS 2013
Darcie Condon Heritage Grove MS She should be considered for this job because of the high standard of performance she has created at her middle school. She recently was a clinician at the Oswego Junior High Concert Band Festival. Her rehearsal techniques are very strong. Kelly O'Neill 2010
Ruben Cooper DeKalb HS He is a motivator and a pied piper to his band kids. My nephew and niece are in the concert and Jazz band's. His top Jazz band is outstanding. He is tireless in taken the bands to perform wherever he can to give the students an opportunity to experience different venues. When I saw my motivated nephew, Josh(baritone/t-bone)and unmotivated niece, Jessica (clarinet) at the 2005 State Street Thanksgiving day parade (12 or 15 degrees that day) marching in step playing her clarinet, I new that Cooper has a gift to get his kids to be there and perform. It brought tears to see the kids there. I had told Joan that morning. Jessica will never get up to go to the parade. She has an excuse for everything she does not want to participate in and besides the weather is terrible. I have attended many of his concerts and contest sites because of the kids. The wife and I are very impressed with his cool but creative smart approach to all his kids. He will be at Hackneys with the Jazz Band. He plays trombone and once played with KC and the Sunshine Band. Bob Garcia 2006
Keith Cox Antioch Community HS He is the choir director at ACHS and is retiring this year. I'm nominating him because of his strong commitment to his students. I'll never forget the time that he was so sick that he was lying down on the ground so he wouldn't get dizzy, still teaching his choir since they had a major performance the next day and he couldn't leave them to go home. Keith B. Cox graduated from Western Illinois University with majors in Choral and General Music Education and has worked with students in the Antioch area since 1978. While serving as Antioch Upper Grade School’s director, his graduate work at Northern Illinois University focused on the changing voice of the adolescent. Since 1988 Keith has been the choral music director at Antioch Community High School, where he has worked with ensembles of many types and has initiated a very successful Madrigal Dinner. His groups have performed in many venues: Atlanta, Disney World, Chicago, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Decorah, Iowa, and Branson, and New York. Keith has also served as a guest conductor and clinician at summer music camps and festivals Illinois. Keith has led his IMEA (Illinois Music Educators Association) District as the Choral Music Chairperson and has served as the regional chair of ACDA (American Choral Directors Association). Outside of school he has been active in his church choir. During retirement Keith looks forward to continuing his love of music as a member of ensembles. Patrick Hayes 2010
Phillip Crews Rich Central HS (Olympia Fields) Phil Crews understands that, contrary to public and even some industry perceptions, the "magic touch" required to educate students well in music is actually determination, dedication, intelligence, creativity, high standards, people skills, organization, good ears, patience, and a host of other qualities. In other words, educating musicians requires a lot of hard work. Most of us work really hard, but what sets Phil apart from the rest of us is his vision of building a better world through music. And the fruits of his labor are easy to find. Witness the extraordinary playing skills of his students. He rehearses with his students frequently until late at night, not just because he is striving for excellence with them, but also because he wants to provide for them a safe haven away from the potentially negative distractions in their lives. He would rather give up his free time for them than watch them waste away. Witness the awards and accolades his ensembles regularly receive. And, probably most important, witness the maturity, confidence, collegiality, and leadership skills he nurtures in his students. Valerie L. Nicholson 2007
Phillip Crews Rich Central HS (Olympia Fields) Last year at Prairie State's jazz festival, the Rich Central band was invited back to perform at the evening concert. Everyone could make it except Phil. Not a problem. His bassist took on the responsibility of counting off the tunes. No one forgot their music. No one resented a student leading them. No one was late and no one acted silly. They had a job to do and they did it exceptionally well. Isn't that what we are trying to do in our teaching - enable our students so they can not just survive but thrive without us? Phil Crews is the only music educator that I know who actually succeeds at doing just that. Were all the teachers of the world equipped to do the same...    
Phillip Crews Rich Central HS (Olympia Fields) I have seen him take two schools from nothing into something special! Donna Robinson 2008
Mark Dahl Lyons Twp HS Many years as a successful band director at Lyons Twp HS. Mark is an excellent teacher that inspires his students to consistently achieve high levels of musicianship. He is also a fantastic musician how "practices what he preaches" Scott Gumina 2015
Richard Daily Kelly HS   Teresa White 2013
Christopher Dandeles Waubonsie Valley HS This is my first year working with Chris Dandeles, but I'm not new to the field. I've been a high school Chicagoland band director for 22 years. Chris maybe one of the finest music educators I've ever had the privilege to observe or work with. He is not only an incredible musician in his own right (percussionist), but he is a fantastic music teacher to students of all ability levels. Chris teaches all ability levels with mastery. Kevin Carroll 2015
Benjamin Das Pritzker College Prep He has an outstanding music program and is dedicated to the profession. Steven Sanders 2016
Brian Dewald Glenbard South HS He is the reason I am doing what I do today! Shan Kazmi 2016
Brian Dewald Glenbard South HS During the past 15+ years Brian has developed an excellent and well rounded band program at Glenbard South High School. Brian consistently provides wonderful educational experiences for all of the students who are in the band program at Glenbard South HS. He has earned the respect and admiration of his students, colleagues, administration, parents and colleagues. He has a demonstrated a strong commitment to the field of music education. Many of his high school students have gone on to major in music education and he has been a terrific mentor to many student teachers. Brian possesses the musical attributes and the personal qualities that have empowered him to be such an outstanding educator for his students. Ross Kellan 2010
Brian Dewald Glenbard South HS He has served in an award-winning district committed to the arts for nearly 20 years, grown the Glenbard South band program, and has inspired hundreds of students, including myself, over the years. Has led the music department at Glenbod South for 20 years and has improved and maintained a standard of excellence in the building. Shan Kazmi 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010
Brian Dewald Glenbard South HS Gave Dan a great opportunity when he was student teaching for Brian. A very good all-around guy! Dan Schraub 2010
Sarah Djordjevic Maine East HS Mrs. Djordjevic has been an orchestra teacher in the Chicago area for past 10 years. In her early years at Maine East HS, no feeder program existed. She was required to recruit freshmen beginners and turn them into respectable string players by their senior year. Although she is in heart of the northern suburban area, the majority of the school population is low income/immigrant students where English is the minority language. In the years since her arrival Maine East, great transformations have taken place. She was able to convince her middle school feeder to begin a string program. This remarkable achievement is even more exemplary because it is a non-unit school district. Her ability to foster a positive political relationship with her feeder school district is very rare in the Chicago area. Through her creativity, she has not only given her students a strong foundation but has become the model for quality teachers of any field. She was recently invited to present at the 2010 IMEA All-State Conference and the 2009 National ASTA Conference. Her practice of collaborative learning has empowered her students and shown that she is one of the true great educators of the Chicago area. Ken Tonaki 2011, 2010
Kurt Dobbeck South Elgin HS A great teacher who grew that program to awesome numbers and involvement Anthony Gnutek 2016
Kurt Dobbeck South Elgin HS Extremely hard working and dedicated to his students. Kevin Dobbeck 2012
Sue Dobias Hoffman MS Sue is always looking for unique and exciting ways to teach her 4th and 5th grade band students. She is an inspiration to her students and co-workers. After being accepted into the Leading Innovative Technology Education program in Glenview, Sue has become advocate for music technology and has worked hard to implement fun uses of technology into her band program. Her students especially enjoy the program SmartMusic. Through the use of SmartMusic, Sue has created musical exercises for her students, set up interactive play along during small group lessons, and has provided students with opportunities for feedback through performing with the SmartMusic accompaniment. Due to the success and student satisfaction of the program, Sue (along with some of her students) presented their SmartMusic activities to the Glenview School Board, which received glowing praise form the administration. Additionally, Sue has created a recording studio in her room, where students actually record music in a simulated studio (complete with headphones and a final digital copy of their performance!). To Jessica Lindeman 2009
Sue Dobias (continues) Hoffman MS stress the importance of practice, Sue has her students create "practice graffiti" on the board. Each student receives a marker and writes the word "practice" on the board. This is a visual representation showing the importance of practice and how many students are affected by (or not by) practicing! Sue encourages her students to take pride in their achievements and recognizes them from in-class awards to IGSMA Solo and Ensemble awards. Sue has additionally created a website for her students, where they can find anything from performance and rehearsal dates to pictures of their activities.    
Sue Dobias (continues) Hoffman MS Sue's strong work ethic has continues outsides of the Glenview community as she recently obtained her National Board Certification in Music Education. Sue is a wonderful mentor, guiding several of the new music teachers in Glenview through teaching and sharing her ideas and thoughts at the district's music department bi-weekly meetings. And, even as her student’s progress to the middle school, Sue stays active in their musical endeavors, often assisting the middle school directors for contest and providing accompaniment for the solo and ensemble festivals. Whenever Sue walks into the middle schools, students always brighten up and run to talk to her. Sue's creativity and enthusiasm for teaching has inspired many students to join and perform in band. When asked who their favorite teacher from Hoffman is, most, if not all, students will respond "Ms. Dobias!" As a middle school director, I am constantly being told, "Yes! Ms. Dobias told us that.." or "Ms. Dobias taught me..." Sue's infections personality and fresh ideas make music in Glenview a wonderful experience for all!    
Matt Doherty Lemont HS …he works very hard with the entire Lemont HS Band and he conducts with New Lenox Community Band   2011
Matt Doherty Lemont HS Hard work with both band and general music at the H.S. level annonymous 2010
David Eanes (retired) Thornridge HS IMEA Dist. I Jazz head for years. Great Jazz and Concert Bands. Many Jazz awards/ Terry Redford 2011
David Eanes (retired) Thornridge HS Great program! Students make All-State each year. Great bands in an economically depressed area. Kevin Carroll 2010
Steve Edsey Gemini JHS-Niles (formerly) The high quality of the program and level of dedication. Steve has had to hold to keep that program moving forward. Doug Schuler 2000
Phil Enns St. Cletus MS quality educator and well respected by his peers. Betty Sturea 2010
LeRoy Eversgerd Jane Addams MS (retired) He always had a passion and fire for music education and still does today. Danielle Hayes 2016
David Farquhar Jackson MS (Villa Park) I feel that he should be considered because he represents all the finest qualities of a professional music educator. Dave is a leader by example. He has hosted numerous I.G.S.M.A. contest events at both the District and State level. He has served as the I.M.E.A. orchestra division representative and hosted I.M.E.A. festival auditions more times that I can remember. Any event run by Dave Farquhar will be done so with integrity and class. His orchestras have consistently been awarded superior ratings at contest, and many of his students have gone on to become leaders at the high school level. Dave is a credit to our profession and worthy of consideration for the 2007 Chicagoland Outstanding Music Educator Award. Peter Lograsso 2007
David Farquhar Jackson MS (Villa Park) He has been the orchestra teacher at Jackson MS for 10 years....taught several general music classes ...traveling to 3 elementary schools to work with his beginner and intermediate orchestra students. He serves as the Instrumental Music Department Chairperson (for 8 year) and mentored several new teachers.... volunteers his own time to host the District VII I.G.S.M.A. Jr. Band & Orchestra Organization Contest for the past 2 yrs ...currently serving as the IMEA Jr. Honor Orchestra Chairperson for District IX. He is a tremendous musician and teacher. This is clearly shown in the exemplary growth of his program in both size and ability. The popularity of the orchestra program in the Jackson Area and gotten so strong that the administration approved the construction of beautiful new orchestra room which opened last fall. Under the baton of Dave Farquhar the Jackson Concert Orchestra has consistently earned #1 ratings at both District and State contest. Dave also has twice conducted the Willowbrook HS Spring Musical and is highly sought after as a contest judge. Dave’s reputation for high standards, professionalism,& organizational skills is an example to me & the other Jackson staff members. Joe Koppel, Band Director, Jackson Middle School 2005
Kristina Figuerres Scullen MS Kristina is an incredibly hard-working and dedicated teacher. She connects with students on many levels, and simply put…students love being in her class. Kristina is a tremendous musician. She does a wonderful job imparting these skills to her many students. Kristina's organizational skills also make her an amazing colleague. She is always willing to take on extra responsibilities and volunteer her time outside of the school day. Kristina helps guide a team of exploratory teachers and represents us at administrative meetings. As a member of the Equity Team, she is helping guide our staff in a direction of accepting and feeling comfortable with our diverse population. She is truly deserving of this nomination and award. Lori Lauff 2008
Maryann Flock Benedictine University …she dedicates herself to her music and her students. Maryann has been such an inspiration in helping me to believe in myself enough to go into music. She constantly challenges her students and helps them to not only become better musicians, but also better people. Without her help, I would not be pursuing my dream of becoming a band director. She possesses everything an outstanding music educator has: patience, excellence, persistence, and dedication. Marcella Frustaci 2009
Heidi Flowers Holmes MS Heidi is one of the most dedicated educators I have met. She goes above and beyond what is expected and has a passion to help students learn the art of playing a string instrument. Her students excel and work hard to meet her expectations. She is well liked by students, parents, and staff. She is an educator who others should observe and take notice. I would highly recommend Heidi for the Outstanding Music Educator Award. Cindy Severino 2016
Heidi Flowers Holmes MS I feel this candidate should be considered because: Heidi does a tremendous job with all of her orchestras, ranging from beginning all the way to her 7th/8th grade symphony orchestra. The relationships she has with each of her students is phenomenal. The level of musicianship Heidi gets out of her students is unparalleled. She consistently works to build professional relationships with her students, but does so in an amazingly caring fashion, which is evident by the effort the students put in to her classes. Heidi is easily one of the most outstanding music educators in our area. Bryan Itzkowitz 2011
Heidi Flowers Holmes MS She teaches all her students to play musically and exceptionally well while holding them to the highest standards. She regularly goes above and beyond for her students Dierdre Cook 2013
Mike Fogarty Romeoville - Lukancik Building a new program. Very dedicated to his students. Melisa Rutkelis 2015
Ann Forman River Trails MS Ann is a long time mentor and friend to Laura. She has taught many students enthusiastically and has a strong commitment to music education, the community and her students Laura Harris 2011
Bruce Fowler New Trier HS (Retired) He inspired me to play and teach beyond what I thought I could. Cathy Umlauf-Schulz 2010
Sarah Frelix Central Park MS of her dedication to teaching her subject and her ease with students. Phillip Ondera 2010
Greg Fudala Lincoln JHS - Mt. Prospect Develops great musicians/ students that have fueled the prospect H.S. band program for years Phil Robb 2010
Lev Garber Glen Crest MS- Dist 89 The performance quality of his ensembles are consistently outstanding Dan Zielinski 2010
Vince Genualdi St. Viator High School he has had a great impact in a very short amount of time at St. Viator Scott Oliver 2016
Bernie Gerstmayr Maine West HS He has grown the program at Maine West and continues to do so. The overall quality of the program is going up due to his tireless efforts to increase relations with his feeder schools, and through excellent concert bands he is increasing the quality of the marching band at Maine West. Tiffany Iwinski 2010
Patty Gill Hauser JHS Patty has been a dedicated music educator in Riverside for decades. She started, grew, and continued the district's orchestra program from its inception. She is tireless in her endeavor for the success of her students and encourages to share their art with the community. Brad Meyer 2016
Gary Glowacz Westfield MS (retired) Gary Glowacz inspires students and his fellow faculty members. He is always mindful and supportive of both students and faculty members feelings. Always puts the students first . Students have often commented that Mr. Glowacz is the reason they enjoy and continue being involved in music. He has been helpful as mentor since Amy has come to Westfield school in District 300.. He is an outstanding educator. Amy Palese 2011, 2010
Anthony Gnutek Jacobs HS, Algonquin Anthony had built a fantastic program at Westfield Community School and is now building a fine program at Jacobs. He has been working very hard to develop his students to their potential and giving great instruction. Rick Palese 2009
Adam Gohr Libertyville HS Adam has been teaching at LHS for the past three years and has continued the great quality band program that LHS has had for many years. Randy Sundell 2016
John Gorman Dundee Crown HS A lot of Anthony’s success he attributes to the mentoring that John provided him since Anthony started in District 300. John has many great musical and teaching ideas that have helped Anthony to become the type of teacher he is today. Anthony Gnutek 2011, 2010
John Gorman Dundee Crown HS John Evans admires John and wishes he were more like John Gorman. He wishes he had more time to work with John and learn from his experience. John Evans 2010
John Gorman Dundee Crown HS He is the most awesome teacher that cares so much for the students that he would go buy an instrument for a student if they could not afford one. He gets the job done without being a tyrant and the student love him at Dundee Crown. Kathy Way and John Evans 2011, 2010
John Gorman Dundee Crown HS John is one of those people who has taught me a lot about working through the ins and outs of the district’s red tape and hurdles. He does what it takes to get our students performing well. The sacrifices he gives to the students and his fellow faculty. Whether it be repairing instrument for his own students or student at other schools in the district it is amazing that he has his own shop in the school and he gives so much of his own personal time to help the students is amazing. He is very well in tune with are community and their needs and we will miss him when he retires. Mike Kasper 2011, 2010
John Gorman Dundee Crown HS We have worked together for over 30 years and “Doc’ is inspirational person who loves his students. Just ask anyone who has worked or been taught by him. He is a cool dude and definitely deserves the honor. Mark Bettcher 2010
Cindy Gradek (retired) St. Rita HS I nominate Cindy because she makes "miracles" happen with her small band…award winning consistently for 13 years Jodi McLawhorn 2005
Cindy Gradek (retired) St. Rita HS Ms. Gradek is an unsung hero of Chicago's Southside and is fine representation of an outstanding music educator. …very impressed with her as a musician and technician and how well she performs at her job…the work she does with individual students over four years starting as beginners is outstanding...students have gone on to major in music and have played in many regional honor bands across the south side. Making "something out of nothing", her band won the State of the Art Catholic Band competition two years ago. Jeff Malecki 2014
Jennifer Green Margaret Mead JHS I worked with Jennifer the previous school year and have observed her classes and her excellent rapport with her students. A handful of beginners I taught eventually will be in Jennifer's program and Jennifer provides so many opportunities for her students to develop as musicians, including solo/ensemble, festival experiences, etc. Jennifer is in her 19th year of teaching and every school she has worked with has made positive improvements with not only the quality of the program but the way the community sees the program. as a former colleague, she has helped me become a better person and educator through guidance and leading through example. Shan Kazmi 2013, 2012
Roosevelt Griffin Gwendolyn Brooks MS   Mario Moody 2016
Roosevelt Griffin Gwendolyn Brooks MS of his outstanding commitment to musical excellence. His jazz band has performed in many national conferences as well as the Midwest Band Clinic. Mario Moody 2014
Kurt Gros Warren HS He has an amazing passion for teaching music - and gets his students to reach their highest potential Emily Dorgan 2016
Kurt Gros Warren HS Kurt is a wonderful musician and teacher. His knowledge of literature is second to none. He has continued the Concert Band excellence at Warren HS with numerous SuperState performances and more. Brian Logan 2010
Scott Gumina Lisle HS A huge help to other directors (me included) in jazz; major growth in concert program. Matt Doherty 2016
Scott Gumina Lisle Jr & Sr. High practices what he preaches, brings performing experience to his teaching Stephen Hawk 2006
Scott Gumina Lisle Jr & Sr. High Scott has developed an outstanding high school and junior high program Jeff McMillan 2015
Scott Gumina Lisle Jr & Sr. High Scott is the ultimate professional. He plays well and his bands always sound great! Plus he always has his charts. Bill Rank 2015
Scott Gumina Lisle Jr & Sr. High Scott is the nicest guy in the business and a fantastic teacher. Under his direction, the LHS Jazz Ensemble performed at ILMEA All-State for the first time ever. Dan Schraub 2015
Scott Gumina Lisle Jr & Sr. High Scott's offerings to his students cover the full range of music, from classical to jazz. They receive excellent instruction in whatever field they choose. Tom Drake 2015
Krista Halvorson Waubonsie Valley HS She is a fabulous musician, an outstanding teacher, and a dedicated music educator. Kathryn Lakiotis 2012
William Hansen Palos South MS Bill has done great work building South's program. His trashcan percussion ensemble has nearly 100 students, it's biggest ever! Recently he took over the beginning band program and choir. He is truly "The Music Man". Bob Mecozzi 2014
Laura Harris Lincoln MS, Mt. Prospect I feel this candidate should be considered because of her commitment to her students and music education. She genuinely cares about the well being of children she meets and uses music education as her tool to positively affect their lives. She is not only nurturing, but also a phenomenal music educator who makes proper technique and musicality fun. Watching Laura Harris teach is nothing short of inspirational and motivational. Lindsey Bassett 2012
Jason Heath Vernon Hills HS Grew and strengthened an already great program; took them to Midwest. In third year, leaving at end of this year - family move to CA. Adam Gohr 2016
Greg Helton Hester Junior High School, Franklin Park for years he has been an outstanding teacher, cooperating teacher and adjudicator, both concert and jazz band. Dana Berry 2016
Dustin Helvie Libertyville HS Dustin’s commitment to excellence is outstanding, and he always brings out the best in his students. He is truly a great educator and is someone his peers look up to- students and colleagues alike. John Clemons 2012
Dustin Helvie Libertyville HS outstanding educator Randy Sundell 2008
Kirk Hickman Lincolnway North H.S. I feel Kirk should be considered because he tirelessly works to improve music education in the chicagoland area in so many ways. At LWN, Kirk does an excellent job with the concert bands, marching band, and jazz bands. He provides an equally balanced and excellent program for all band students that pass through the band room at LWN. This year Kirk was asked to take on the additional responsibility of teaching the orchestra program for Lincolnway North and Lincolnway East. To many this would have been a burden but Kirk embraced it and is developing a wonderful orchestra program for the school district. Kirk’s influence extends far beyond Lincolnway as he is constantly judging and providing clinics for high school and middle school programs around the suburbs. I was fortunate enough to have him judge my solo and ensemble contest and he gave every student excellent feedback. He has been a constant source of encouragement to me personally and has helped me further my career by encouraging me to extend my knowledge to other areas of my field that I have been reluctant to embrace myself. He is a wonderful friend and a great mentor, I couldn’t think of anyone better to receive the Chicagoland Outstanding Music Educator Award Nick Konwerski 2011
Kirk Hickman Lincolnway North H.S. I know that many of us put in hours tirelessly for the benefit of our students, but Kirk has always gone far and away, above and beyond as a music educator. He deals with a great deal of adversity and pressure from his school administration and school community, while most including myself would probably run screaming from the fires he deals with, he carries on with a stiff upper lip and works hard to provide the best experience for the students he every day he walks through the doors at LWNHS. Nick Konwerski 2014
Jim Hile (retired) Highland Park HS Jim Hile spent 18 years as Director of Bands at Highland Park High School in Highland Park. During that time, he developed a tradition of excellence without ever going to competitions or seeking out trophies. His students were lucky to have him as a director, and knew it. Besides the students he worked with on a daily basis, established the North Shore Honor Band, a high school group with the best and brightest students from several area schools. He has also conducted All-District bands in four different districts here in Illinois, and been a guest conductor and clinician countless other times. Kevin Schoenbach 2016
Andy Hoefle South Suburan College   Ted Wojcik 2013
Carol Holck Carl Sandburg MS I had the great pleasure of working with Jim Hile last year when my colleague went on maternity leave. The energy he had with students was amazing; I am 20 years his junior, I had trouble keeping up with him. I learned more from working alongside him for two months then any of my undergraduate or graduate classes. He is amazing, and if he did that much for my students in two months, I can only imagine his students’ experience during his tenure at Highland Park. Chelsea Hutchings 2016
Ron Hornish Downers Grove South HS Ron has developed outstanding bands in his 30 year career and has inspired hundreds of students who are now educators, professional musicians. He is admired and so highly respected by all who know him. His bands at Morton West were first rate and since his arrival at Downers South, the band program continues to grow and expand thanks to his dedication, vision, and commitment to young people and music education. Andrew Wald 2009
Candace Horton Thomas MS She is part of a wonderful music program that is a shining example of excellence feeding into Hersey High School. She works tirelessly and cares deeply for her students. The result is a group of students that perform beyond their potential. Mark Iwinski 2010
Barry Houser Univ. of IL (Champaign) he embodies the spirit of a true music educator. His passion for music and love of learning is very addicting and spreads to his students. I got into teaching thanks to him. Phillip Maro 2013
Christina Hudson Wilkins JHS As a former Band Director in the Chicagoland area back in the 90's, I know first=hand the amount of hard work, dedication, and sincere passion that is required to be an effective and inspirational instrumental music teacher/director. Ms. Hudson exemplifies all of those characteristics and more. Indian Springs D109 started an orchestra program only a decade ago and since Ms. Hudson's hiring, our junior high orchestra is better than it as ever been both in talent and participation. ...continuous pursuit of professional development....and her ability to get children excited about performing music is nothing less than phenomenal. Blair Nuccio 2014
Clifford Hunt Hufford JHS Dist 86 Clifford Hunt continually proves himself an outstanding orchestra director. Each year his students excel to their highest level by earning superior ratings not only at in state contests, but they also earn superior ratings when they travel to festivals out of state. Clifford works both before and after school giving lessons and extra help to his students to encourage them to succeed. In addition, Clifford works very hard helping his student's transition into our high school orchestra. He has done clinics with the high school orchestra, and has an excellent musical relationship with his students that continue into high school. It is without reservation that I enthusiastically recommend Clifford Hunt for the Chicagoland Outstanding Music Educator Award. Pam Breuning 2007
Clifford Hunt Hufford JHS Dist 86 maintains excellent rapports with his students and parents. He often spends hours after school to meet with students individually to assist in their musical growth. Additionally, he spends many hours communicating with the parents to keep them updated on their child's progress. Mr. Hunt also performs community relations by having his students out to play for local events and even forming a small honors orchestra H2O that has been features on local radio WJOL. Mr. Hunt is an excellent musician and a complete team player who performs with several groups on his own time. He volunteers to perform with other faculty at school functions. James Shaw 2014
Clifford Hunt Hufford JHS Dist 86 Very dedicated educator. Very passionate musician and good person. Jeffrey Johnson 2014
Holly Hunt Troy MS her undying effort to provide exemplary music education programs throughout her years as a music educator. Clifford Hunt 2013
Andrew Hunter Wauconda MS   Catherine Savino 2015
Bryan Itzkowitz Holmes MS He has done tremendous work with the Holmes MS Band Program. He always has the students' best interest at heart. Jeff Zilke 2016
Bryan Itzkowitz Holmes MS all of the above-and-beyond work he has done to make the jazz program what it is. He works hard and desn't ever make excuses. Mike Malek 2016
Bryan Itzkowitz Holmes MS 61 is an outstanding music educator. I have learned a great deal from watching him teach. Todd Smith 2013
Bryan Itzkowitz Holmes MS 61 his passion for teaching is evident in all facets of his program. He has an amazing attention to detail and consistently motivates his band students each day. Andrew Norte 2013
Mark Iwinski Andrew HS He is an overall great musician and director. His direction has taken VJA to the next level Allan Rendak 2016
Mark Iwinski Andrew HS Mark has done a tremendous job building and moving the Andrew band program forward. He has maintained and extensive website. I work with one of his band parents and they agree that he is a terrific educator! John Haney 2015
Ed Jacobi Buffalo Grove HS He has stood the test of time and shown excellence every year. He has served IMEA, his school and students faithfully. Jim Stombres 2012
Ed Jacobi Buffalo Grove HS Has managed to maintain a very high level of performance in both concert and jazz bands for decades Scott Barnas 2010
Matt Janus Eisenhower JHS-Darien …he gives so much time and comes up with really great sounding bands. Todd Smith 2011
Matt Janus Eisenhower JHS-Darien Matt, despite many district-level challenges, always does a fantastic job with his bands. I'm especially impressed with his work in the area of jazz education. His work ethic is amazing. He does an outstanding job with his students and is a great motivator. His jazz bands are always a treat. Craig Sunken 2013, 2012, 2011
Bert Johnson Lincoln-Way North HS Puts kids first. High quality results. Good person. Robert Sanchez 2015
Bert Johnson Lincoln-Way North HS His passion for music education is hard to match. He works hard to provide the best education possible for his students Todd Schultz 2005
Bert Johnson Lincoln-Way North HS He has also taught at Lincolnway Eat and Lincolnway. He does a phenomenal job with the marching and concert programs. He administers a really tight ship. He strives and stresses for the student to reach for excellence and wants them to be the best musician possible.. He works so well with the students and pays great attention to detail. Jake Stouffer 2010
Michael Kasper Carpentersville MS He always goes above and beyond for his students and colleagues. Mike is a dedicated and reflective educator. His students exhibit excellence and are inspired to succeed by his teaching. Jackie Pendola 2016
Michael Kasper Carpentersville MS He is an excellent educator. He always puts the kids first and is constantly striving to find new opportunities for his students. Anthony Camarda 2016
Steve Katz Niles West HS Steve has built an outstanding high school orchestra program. All of his students perform at a very high level of musicality. William Koch 2016
Randy Karon Barrington HS is a friendly, professional teacher that inspires motivation and maturity in his students which develops into amazing performance in concerts and competitions. Scott Lindstrom 2013
Regina Kazda Scullen MS She is a fantastic person who is so passionate about music and is a great teacher. She cares about her kids and makes learning about music so much fun! She has helped me realize I want to be a music teacher. Joanna Schultz 2014
Regina Kazda Scullen MS (formerly Batavia JHS) ..she is an inspiring person and inspired me to become a string teacher myself! Joanna Segaroto 2010-2012
Regina Kazda Scullen MS (formerly Batavia JHS) ...because of her consistent ability to retain large numbers of students (over 60 students), provide outstanding instrumentation, and maintain a high degree of musical ability (Jr. High playing Grade 3+). Performed at All State Clinic Ken Tonaki 2000
Ken Kazin Evergreen Park HS he has consistently fostered a culture of musical excellence in concert, marching and jazz ensemble. Burl Gregory 2013
Ken Kazin Evergreen Park HS Mr. Kazin has developed and maintained a strong program for 20+ years. He has an accomplished jazz ensemble and has encouraged many students to become music educators. John Kehl 2014
Corine Kees Friendship JHS-Elk Grove …she stretches the students' learning through different teaching strategies and has a wonderful rapport with her students. Cameron M. Dall 2011
Chris Keyes Crystal Lake South HS   Cody Halberstadt 2014
Tony Kidonakis Vandercook College Tony is doing great things at Vandercook and throughout the Chicagoland area through outreach with his Vandercook Jazz Ensemble and saxophone students. / Tony is an outstanding young teacher. He really has a concern for the musical experience of each young musician. He is a most worthy candidate for this award. Mike Fiske 2014, 2008
Jack Kinsella Jerling JHS …has provided high quality music instruction and positive experiences for his students and programs at Jerling JHS for over a decade. As the music education leader in his district, he also provides quality mentorship and support for his colleagues to ensure their growth and success. His band program is reflective of the ethnic and socio-economic diversity of his students body, providing a positive environment that welcomes all. His program is successful in terms of serving many students, engaging quality literature, and providing meaningful life experiences. Bryan Miller 2015
Jack Kinsella Jerling JHS He has spent countless years with the program and has given me many great students and musicians Andrew Creagh 2010
Steve Klaus Ridgewood HS Wheaton Municipal Band. He’s been keeping a good program alive, consistently, even through very tough times! Kevin Carroll 2010
Jason Kluge Westchester MS is one of the hardest working band directors I know. He constantly strives for excellence with his students. His personality is enthusiastic and his program is wonderful Jennifer Rooney 2014
Heather Knight Sandburg MS Heather always goes above and beyond for her students as well as her colleagues! Heather continually seeks to provide a positive experience for all of her band students. She manages all this on top of performing professionally and being a mother of three! Stacie Savittieri 2016
Bill Koch Niles West HS (retired) Bill was the first cooperating instructor I had when I did my clinical observations in my undergraduate studies. Unlike some cooperating teachers, Bill allowed me to work with his groups early on. He gave my helpful and practical advice which I had not received in college. I will always be grateful for my experience with him. Eric Rivera 2012
Bill Koch Niles West HS (retired) Brilliant and dedicated. His work does not end when the bell rings. He has earned the respect of students and colleagues alike Dorothy Katz 2007
Bill Koch Niles West HS (retired) I feel this candidate should be considered because as director of the school bad program at Niles West for the past 24 years, he has been instrumental in building our Fine Arts Department's success at the sate and national level. In April 2007 our school District was named the national winner of the coveted Kennedy Center Award for the Performing Arts. Our band program was an integral part of our application and a significant reason for winning this award. Parents and students alike have the highest opinion of his work and appreciate the strength he brings to our Fine Arts Department. Galen Hosler 2007
Bill Koch Niles West HS (retired) Dedication to innovative music education and to the student of Niles West HS Michael Blanchard 2007
Bill Koch Niles West HS (retired) He is an outstanding teacher. He provides an outstanding program for the Niles West students, and he goes above and beyond everyday for his students & colleagues. He is worthy of this recognition Ann Dufek 2007
Bill Koch Niles West HS (retired) He is one of the best educators in our state. Bill has worked with kids for 28 years and left an impact on the students of his community. Greg Wojcik 2007
Bill Koch Niles West HS (retired) I feel that this candidate should be considered because of the immeasurably positive impact that Mr. Koch has had on his student's lives. The passion, respect, discipline, and total commitment to the arts and music performance that he exudes and expects of his students has impacted their lives incredibly. In fact, a number of former pupils have entered the fields of music education and performance as a result of his influence. The communities of Morton Grove, Niles, Skokie, and Lincolnwood have benefited greatly from the Niles West band's contributions to their civic events over the course of Mr. Koch's 24 year tenure as band director. Excellence in education(and performance) is the standard at Niles West that is validated by the fact that Niles Township District 219 is the recipient of the newly announced Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network(KCCAEN) and National School Board Association(NSBA) award. Mr. Koch also has molded his jazz band into a top rate ensemble, as evidenced by the recent awarding of a gold rating from the Heritage Music Festival. Mr. Koch would be a worthy and Most deserving recipient of this award! Mark Olen 2007
Bill Koch Niles West HS (retired) Bill Koch has successfully directed the Niles West High School Band for nearly 20 years. He has developed a unique and progressive curriculum for music students which has resulted in doubling the school band enrollment. Niles West has just been awarded by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts the top program for the performing arts in the nation, and Bill Koch has played a major role in this achievement. Michael E. Young 2007
Jim Kosiek Grove JHS It is because of his work at the elementary/ Jr. High Schools in CCSD 59 the EG HS Band has been as successful as it has, including their performance last year at the IL MEA conference. Jim has had teaching succes at each of the schools where he has taught, and the experiences he has given to his students have been plentiful and varied. He knows and is aware of the type of student for whom he is educationally responsible - whether working as he has in the Chicago Public Schools, or at Notre Dame HS in Niles, or Glenbrook South HS, or Friendship Jr. High in Glenview - and inspires them to want to excel. He exhibits the same stle of teaching with his many private lesson students.   2016
Jim Kosiek Grove JHS The caliber and quality of his teaching is reflected in the caliber of program at EGV HS. The EG HS band performed at the ILMEA in Peoria in January and many of those students came from Jim's program - where they got their start. Bob Erickson 2015
Brian Kowalski Kaneland Harter MS …of his outstanding musicianship and ability to communicate effectively to performers of all ages. Dan Zielinski 2012
Kathy Krepel Prairie Grove JHS exceptional group if ladies who love what they do and work hard to produce fine performances from their young musicians. Randy Sundell 2013
Kristen Kudert Glencoe MS outstanding first few years as band director Bryan Kegrosa 2010
Celeste Lake (retired) Grove Junior High (formerly St. Raymond) (retired) I feel this candidate should be considered because Celeste has been an excellent music educator for many years. Celeste puts forth 100% effort every day. She has been responsible for the entire District 59 Orchestra program for many years, and now working with Celeste at St. Raymond is absolutely great. She jumps in to do any job that needs doing - whether it is teaching group lessons, or filing music, or setting up at concerts. Not only does she help with any aspect of our band program, but she does it willingly, happily, and with utmost dedication to her students. I am very fortunate to have Celeste working with me. She truly cares about all her students. Cheryl R. Burt 2011
Celeste Lake (retired) Grove Junior High (formerly St. Raymond) (retired) …of her numerous years of devoted teaching of orchestra students. Her love of kids showed every day in her teaching. Dana Berry 2011
Celeste Lake (retired) Grove Junior High (formerly St. Raymond) (retired) ...during the past 20 years as orchestra coordinator in district 59, she has nurtured and developed the talents of her students in the program. Her orchestra had the highest score at the recent IGSMA organizational contest among orchestras. She is highly respected as a music educator far beyond the boundaries of district 59. Celeste is truly a caring, gifted, and “special” music educator worthy of the high honor you seek to award. She has made a difference in her kids' lives - they love her! Wes Smith 2000, 2011
Celeste Lake (retired) Grove Junior High (formerly St. Raymond) (retired) Her dedication to the orchestra has accumulated through her many years her to have a first rate orchestra. She has been teaching at Grove for 30+ years and started a program from zero and great it to 100+ students. Bravo! Corine Kees 2011, 1998-2000
Jenna Lake Heritage Middle School She is unmatched in dedication and work ethic as a teacher, and demonstrates her dedication and care for students on a daily basis. Matthew Becker 2016
Tom Lamb Mokena JHS (retired) He has built a large, successful program in his years at MJHS and works to create a lifelong appreciation for music in his students Jessica Ryan 2005
Tom Lamb Mokena JHS (retired) …of 30 years of dedication to the musical education of the children of Mokena. During that time he established and maintained a wonderful music department Rebecca Rodey 2010, 2011
Tom Lamb Mokena JHS (retired) he spent his career putting the students first. If it was in the best interest for a child, Tom would do whatever he could to make it happen. Tom was an amazing influence on generations of students in Mokena. His enthusiasm and passion for music was an inspiration. Jessice Maffia 2010, 2011
Tom Lamb Mokena JHS (retired) He is in his last year for 2007-2008 school year. He has truly given his adult life to the town of Mokena....because of his unending hours and caring for his students, which leads to an excellent overall program. He has given his adult life to the students of Mokena; He gave up his concert band to take only the beginners to give them the start they needed Kent Norris -Manhattan JHS 1997 & 2005, 2007
Helen Lawrence Hampshire HS She is outstanding as a music teacher and mentor. Her students love her because she truly cares about them. Kathy Way 2016
Jennifer Lee-Stewart Sundling JHS-Palatine Jennifer Lee-Stewart has been an Orchestra Director in Palatine Community Consolidated School District 15 for ten years and under her direction, the Orchestra Program at Walter R. Sundling Junior High School is thriving. Jennifer is well-respected by students, staff and our community. She provides an excellent musical experience for her students and is a great colleague. Jeff Zilke 2014
Beth Lehner McCracken MS Beth Lehner is in her 27th year as Director of Choirs at McCracken Middle School in Skokie, Illinois. She has arguably had one of the most distinguished careers of any middle school choir director in the last three decades. Only once have her choirs not received a Superior rating at the Illinois Grade School Music Association District and State Contests. Since the introduction of the IGSMA State Festival format four years ago, her choirs have been named an "Honors Ensemble" four times. Her work consistently receives praise from adjudicators, clinicians, and colleagues. Beth is certainly extremely deserving of this award. Chip DeStefano 2006
David Lesniak Plainfield East HS …he is an outstanding music educator. Starting as my student teacher in the spring of 1999, David has been my teaching colleague here at Batavia HS for the last nine years. During this time, I have know David in a variety of capacities, each of which has revealed and reinforced for me the depth of his professional commitment to education, effectiveness as an educational leader, and personal dedication to the individual and collective success of his colleagues and students. I consider David to be an excellent role model for our faculty as well as the youth of our community. David always strives for the best from himself as well as from his students. During his time in our program, he has brought much innovation to our department. Organizing our most recent band trips, setting up our computer grading system, sponsoring our school chapter of Tri-M Music Honor Society, creating our department webpage, being an electronic and recording technician, directing marching band, serving as a student mentor; these are just a few of the many hats David wears. And along with all of this, David has a great out-going personality, good sense of humor and exhibits sincere enjoyment working with our students. (edited) John Heath 2008
Keith Levin Crystal Lake Central High School Keith is an outstanding educator that challenges and cares for his students. Code Halberstadt 2016
Peter Lipari Joliet Township HS he's still teaching even after all that's happened P. James 2013
Peter Lipari Joliet Township HS Peter has more than doubled the size of our orchestra program and has increased their already good performance level. Kevin Caroll 2012
Megan LoPresto Hill MS Naperville …she works tirelessly to help her students to reach their highest musical potential. To that end she is constantly working to improve her own knowledge and skills. She is a fantastic colleague. Claire Fenton 2012
Megan LoPresto Hill MS Naperville her high energy when teaching and her energy behind the scenes. She volunteers her time to work on music district committees as well as takes education classes to benefit all of our students. Her energy is reflected in her students' rehearsals and performances = she is an asset to the music education field . ...of her dedication to our student's emotional, academic and musical growth. Megan LoPresto's teaching focuses on not only the elements of music, but also on student achievement ("the whole student"). Megan's time and energy are evident and help make the music department at HMS a great one. She always sees the big picture with her students, and more importantly, she teaches students how to be better people. Her patience and kindness reflects in her teaching! She goes above and beyond for her elementary and middle school band students. Her teaching not only motivates, but also inspires her students. She inspires me to be a better teacher as well! Despite an overloaded schedule and reduced lunch and plan time, Megan LoPresto teaches at a high level and has equally high expectation for her students. Heidi Rogers 2014, 2012, 2011, 2007, 2006
Oksana Lukaszewskyj South MS-Arlington Heights Oksana has been one of my mentors in my early years of teaching. I met her through Quinlan & Fabish functions and have kept in contact ever since. Whether it was a question about flute pedagogy or reviewing one of my letters, Oksana has been available and helped me grove as a music educator. Eric Rivera 2012
Oksana Lukaszewskj South MS-Arlington Heights I am pleased to suggest Oksana for this award. She has done an outstanding job in Arlington Heights and developed a consistently fine band program. More important however is that her goals pursue a comprehensive array of knowledge and skills that are essential for a long lasting love of the arts. She is well respected within her school and community and she is totally supportive of the school in general. I feel she well deserves this recognition for enduring service to area music. Dr. Charles R. Groeling 2011
Oksana Lukaszewskyj South MS-Arlington Heights ...of her excellent work in Arlington Hts. She was my student teacher years ago and has blossomed into a fine, caring teacher Bob Rzeszutko 1999
Oksana Lukaszewskyj South MS-Arlington Heights (edited) former student…Oksana was the best teacher I ever had… Ronnie Rhyner 2004
Oksana Lukaszewskyj South MS-Arlington Heights Oksana Lukaszewskyj inspired me as a student to achieve my fullest potential and continues to inspire me as a fellow music educator. Her genuine spirit, rapport with her colleagues, and musical expertise stand as only a few traits which make her deserving of this honor. While a student at South Middle School, Oksana fostered an enjoyable learning environment in which I grew as a musician and young adult. She regularly discussed major and minor scales, rhythm, and other musical elements to help her ensembles perform challenging repertoire. Oksana maintained an exceptional ability to offer group critique during rehearsals and individual critique through playing exams. Her expectations instilled a high level of responsibility and caring nature enabled students to speak to her with ease. As a colleague, Oksana enthusiastically assisted me with my job search, thoroughly scrutinized my resume, and has given me a wealth of teaching advice. She regularly attends music festivals such as Midwest and IMEA, and remains well informed of the technology and literature changes offered to the musical field. Through Sherry Reiss 2011, 2010
Oksana Lukaszewskyj   her attention to detail and collaboration with music colleagues, Oksana has built a remarkable band program that her students feel proud to participate in. She shares the musical talents of her students in band festivals, solo and ensemble contests, and community events such as the Arlington Heights Autumn Harvest. Oksana’s talents for teaching combined with her notable personal qualities make her an outstanding candidate for this award.    
Steve Lundin Dekalb HS I have heard many of his groups perform and they are great. His students enjoy performing and it shows every time. Eric Wellman 2015
Beth Lyons Oak Lawn Hometown MS Beth is an outstanding educator who puts forth her best everyday for her students. During her tenure, the program has grown in both quality and quantity; and her students are the most musically mature of any middle school that I have seen or heard. Her dedication and passion is visible both inside the classroom, and out. Her advocacy for music and education is evident by her membership in the Fox Valley Concert Band as a flautist. She is a mentor to me as I am in my first year of teaching. Mike Sliwinski 2016
Patrick Maag Hinsdale South HS Over the past 5 years, he has more than doubled the band program and the students look up to him and highly respect him. He has the ability to make a student feel in control of his/her learning, inspired, motivated, excited to be in band. The thing most people think of first when they think of Patrick is his sense of humor and ability to relate with others. Alex White 2015
Mike Malek MacArthur Middle School He is the epitome of an educator. I've known Mike in a few different lights and his philosophy never changes. "It's for the kids." Alex Meza 2016
Joe Malik TF North   Cristina Frigo 2016
Frank Manna (retired) Marist HS-Chgo he brought fame, pride, accomplishment, and certainly longevity to the school! (I was surprised he was not already on the list) Dave Keeney 2006
Frank Manna (retired) Marist HS-Chgo …of his many years of dedication to his trade Ken Stiak 2005
Frank Manna (retired) Marist HS-Chgo Mr. Manna has trained many students that are now in the music profession. He has had many of his former students enter music education and music performance. Brandon Faust 2005
Frank Manna (retired) Marist HS-Chgo He always gave "his all" for his students. Frank constantly pushed them to realize all that they were capable of. He has had many students who have chosen music as their main field both in performance and education - myself included. Not only was I a student, but I also taught with him for over 15 years. He has inspired me to be the best teacher I can be. during his tenure at Marist and in the grade schools he always did his best to expose the students to as much about music as he could. He expected their best and in return his students respected and excelled in all they did. Eileen Pavlik 2013, 2012, 2000
Frank Manna (retired) Marist HS-Chgo Of his many outstanding years spent guiding and nurturing young student musicians in Catholic grade schools and in building a fine band program at Marist over the past 35 years Dominic Lombardo 2002
Frank Manna (retired) Marist HS-Chgo Longevity and accomplishments with Marist HS. Many bowl appearances, etc. (Rose Bowl this year!) John Badsing 2002
Frank Manna (retired) Marist HS-Chgo of many years of music education for young bandsmen Bob Hodac 2006
Frank Manna (retired) Marist HS-Chgo Longevity and contributions to Catholic Music Education Kevin Carroll 2002
Andy Marchese Benet Academy (retired) he is the most underrated director I know…outstanding trumpet player, had excellent bands for 37 years. Also taught at two grammar schools at the same time! He is the reason why Benet became so prominent at parades and music functions. A truly gifted musician and mentor Darryl Boggs-Lindop School 1996, 2000-2006, 2010
Andy Marchese Benet Academy (retired) outstanding years of musical excellence-should have been awarded this many years ago. Patrick Henning 2000
Jeremy Marino Libertyville HS what he's doing for ILMEA is groundbreaking and much needed. He's a great candidate Jason Heath 2014
Gene Matsui (retired) A. Vito Martinez MS Gene reache dso many students in this community during his tenure at AVM/ West View. His bands were large and strong. He began numerous traditions and was alwas motivated to provide more opportunities for his students. In addition, his loyalty to the Valley View Schools was paramount and provided a continuity and stability that was important for this blue collar community. Michael Fogarty 2016
Elise Matusek Woodland MS She inspires her students to be the best they can be. She has helped to better and strengthen the band program in the district Rizelle Capito 2005
Nic Meyer New Trier HS In a short time, Nic Meyer has been able to raise the level of an already well-established Jazz Program at New Trier while also putting his own touch on it. Patrick Dawson 2011
Greg Miller Hamlin JHS I feel that Mr. Miller is deserving of the Outstanding Educator Award for his work with the Hamlin band students. He has taken the program to a very high level is a very short time. He is extremely resourceful and effective in his teaching. His energetic teaching and positive student relations have helped him to create an outstanding program. Steve Nendza 2015, 2014
Wendy Miller (retired) Oaklawn -Hometown Dist 123 She has been an outstanding educator in Evergreen Park and Oak Lawn Dist 123. Wendy has consistently had award winning bands, started a jazz program in #123 and is a player - Flutes Unlimited, Southwest Symphony, etc. Kenneth Bender 2007
Mike Miller Field MS Dist 31 Mike is an excellent musician and teacher who has made a tremendous difference in a very small school district. During his years at Field Mike has successfully lobbied the Administration to start band students in 5th (rather than 6th grade), and has carefully worked with his school to purchase instruments, uniforms, and equipment worthy of an excellent program. Most recently he helped his District survive a referendum vote that would have devastated the band program. Mike has a wonderful mastery of pedagogical methods that directly benefit his students. Despite the smallish size of his top ensemble he selects, rewrites, and teaches music in a way that make every student responsible for a mature ensemble sound. There are very few directors who could produce the quality of ensemble that Mike has managed in his setting - a setting that has a highly transient population due to corporate families moving in and out of District. Mike's students demonstrate success in IMEA auditions and in the Northbrook Solo and Ensemble Festival. He is a great colleague to fellow teachers, continues to strive for excellence, and introduces new ideas into his program every year to make it better. Wayne Gordon 2013
Kent Minor (retired) North Berwyn Dist 98 35 years of devoted service to band in elementary school system John Duralhtu 2013
Kent Minor (retired) North Berwyn Dist 98 ...many years of outstanding work!! Brian Budzik 1997
Kent Minor (retired) North Berwyn Dist 98   annonymous 2010
Kent Minor (retired) North Berwyn Dist 98 He has been a solid teacher and musician for over 20 years in this district. He has won many awards at contests and has hosted some as well. A noted jazz saxophonist with his own group. For 32 years, had a solid program, won many awards at the district and state level and held many jazz festivals at his school. A terrific teacher, excellent instrumentalist. Darryl Boggs 2013, 2002, 2010
Maria Mizicko Emerson MS-Niles ...she has that “special” quality that makes a great teacher. Maria represents the highest ideals of education. It is clear that Maria works extremely hard to keep this a top rated program. She has an extraordinary commitment and concern for the well being of every student-both in and outside of the classroom. Maria constantly strives to teacher her students excellence and in doing so, she teaches them life skills. I so admire that! Our students have amazing opportunities in music education which is directly created by great teachers and she is most definitely one of them! She is a humble teacher but, in my opinion, richly deserves the recognition and accolades for her teaching excellence. Patti Wlodek - Lincoln MS 2004
Mario Moody Coolidge MS he has taken his band program to wonderful new heights. He is a great band director and works well with students. He is a role model to all band directors. David Allie 2013
Chuck Morgan Joliet Junior College He is a leader in working with area band directors in providing opportunities. Jessica Boese 2015
Diane Morrill Indian Trail MS-Addison Diane is an outstanding educator and leader Francis Lucente 2006
Christopher Mroczek Lincoln-Way Central HS is a dedicated teacher and musician who also goes the extra mile for his students. Karen Bussean 2014
Aaron Mulder Frederick School He is one of the hardest working directors I know. He has helped get a schedule, which allows for everyday sectionals/lessons. He is a mentor to our new directors. He is on two other school committees (Rising Stars and Encore Leader). He has great rapport with our students, and is extremely knowledgeable regarding pedagogy on all band instruments. Mostly, he is a friend, in addition to being a great partner to work with. Eric Rivera 2016
Andy Nelson Barrington MS Station He is an outstanding musician and teacher and, despite our 30 minute rehearsal periods, is able to produce outstanding young musicians. He is always willing to help his colleagues and serves on several committees throughout the school year to either develop a stronger curriculum or just keeping our staff better informed of the activities in the school fine arts department. A number one teacher! He has worked tirelessly for 28 years in a district where no one except his band colleagues really knows what he does and has produced, since Barrington MS never sends groups to any contests or clinics. He LOVES what he does, truly cares about all of the children as young musicians and young people and has an exceptional talent for educating these kids about music. He is one of the best kept secrets in our profession. Don Montgomery & Luana Byte 2013, 2010
Dave Nommensen Lemont HS Working with Dave over the past few years has opened my eyes to perspectives and methods I would not have explored on my own. He's a fantastic example for many aspects crucial to being successful. Dave essentially runs the facility for Midwest Music Festival and is a musician's advocate in the village of Lemont. He has served the HS District in Lemont for nearly 15 years. Matth Doherty 2010, 2011
Jon Noworyta Wheaton North HS Jon is such a phenomenal educator. Every year I see his bands participate in some prestigious event. John goes above and beyond to give his students the best music experience and instill a love for music. Jon goes all out on everything. He is knowledgeable, passionate and sacrifices his time to create the best experiences not only for his students but has the desire to show others through activities this year at Midwest and IMEA. He is hands on with the creation of the music curriculum and implementation in CUSD200. Wheaton/Warrenville is a better district promoting music education because of Jon. Blake Jancius 2012, 2011
Bradley O'Brien Lane Tech HS have worked tirelessly to foster the love of music in high school students, most of who just started playing/singing their freshman year of high school. The amount of growth these students show in four years, rivals that of programs the start in elementary school. Being a product of their teaching I can tell you first hand that these men are two of best teachers I've ever had. They always available to their students and work with them after/before school without pay so that their students can have every opportunity to be successful. I wouldn't be the musician or the teacher I am today without them. Dion Morales 2014
Kelly O'Neill Oswego East HS Kelly has done an outstanding job growing the band program at Oswego East High School in not only quantity, but quality. She sets goals for the program and takes the necessary steps to reach those goals. She is well loved by her students and colleagues and has been an incredible resource to me as a younger teacher. I believe that she is more than deserving of receiving this award. Steven Rexroat 2016
Brian Ohlsen Lakeview JHS Brian Ohles should be considered for this award because of his dedication and efforts in maintaining a high quality elementary music program. Brian is committed to starting students off right. Developing the best young musicians possible and making sure they are prepared to move on. Mr. Ohlsen works very hard to make sure he gives every opportunity to each child to succeed. has done a great job with the Lakeview Jazz Band and Symphonic Band performed at IMEA in 2013 with his Jazz Band. Tom Tedeschi 2013, 2010, 2011
Rebecca Oppenheim Maine South HS I have had the opportunity to work with Becca for the past 9 years since we entered the district together. She has been supportive of all aspects of the fine arts and relationship between the band program and orchestra program is tremendous. Becca has grown the orchestra program at Maine South considerably during her tenure. Her professionalism, honest, and caring attitude are guaranteed reasons as to why more and more students each year are deciding to become members of the orchestra program. She thinks of creative ways to engage her students such as special performance with Mark Wood, chamber ensemble units and performance-based trips to Florida and New York. Rebecca Oppenheim is a talented educator who has achieved much success and I look forward to our continued efforts as music teachers. Joel Matter 2011
Ray Ostwald York HS Been a leader amoung orchestra teachers for years and continue to inspire us, young adults. Tobin Langridge 2016
Rodney Owens Daniel Wright JHS   Pat Cantagallo 2010
Joyce Pacheco Manhattan JHS   Ron Pacheco 2016
Joyce Pacheco Manhattan Dist. 114 Elem. Joyce provides not only instruction in general music education but is Director of four string ensembles and four choirs within our district. She dedicates herself to providing the best she has to offer to these children and broadens their appreciation of music. I have two children that are members of several of the ensembles that Joyce directs and with the gifts they have been given, Joyce has been able to help their abilities to grow beyond what they ever imagined. My daughter has had her as a music teacher for six years and when the opportunity to join the orchestras and choirs with her came, she did not hesitate. She knew she would continue to receive a quality education in music. The instruction that she has been given by Joyce in these ensembles has given her a confidence I could never imagine and has enabled her to have opportunities to perform with members of the Chicago Symphony Chorus and the Lyric Opera. My son has had Joyce as a music teacher for four years and has really enjoyed his time in the orchestra and choir. He has learned a great deal, and despite starting on cello later than other students, he has excelled and has been able to play with the same quality of others that have played longer than he has. Joyce encourages these children every day and they have developed a bond with her that goes beyond teacher and student. She is dedicated to every one of them and they show their appreciation with their hard work and always want to do their best for her. And in return, that dedication has earned them several awards over the years for the quality performances that they work toward. This small school in the middle of a cornfield has turned out some amazing musicians over the past several years and many still come back to watch the concerts that these children perform. It is wonderful to see these children develop over the years from first learning to hold a bow to being award winning orchestras and choirs. I am thankful for her in many ways for her dedication to our children and I am thankful that she is here for our children each day to encourage them and bring out the musical best they have to offer. Susan Prynn 2015
Joyce Pacheco Manhattan Dist. 114 Elem. This piece comes from an observation report of Mrs. Pacheco: Every movement in Joyce's class has purpose. Mrs. Pacheco models for the students with her head and body, hands and voice, and overall presentation. Her directions are verbalized clearly and lesson objectives are written on board for all the students to observe. Interaction with students is sincere and warm. At the end of the period, Joyce gave a heart warming speech to the students of how proud she was of the class, and all of 5th grade, for where they are with music and the adversity they had to overcome having several different instructors over the years. A culture for learning is established. The visible passion for the profession naturally encourages the students to want to participate and do their best. It would be hard to not want to do well for Mrs. Pacheco. Mrs. Pacheco is truly amazing with what she does for our students at Anna McDonald.... Ryan McWilliams - Principal, Anna McDonald School 2009
Joyce Pacheco Manhattan Dist. 114 Elem. ...The energy she exhibits in the classroom makes learning music fun for the students. It is evident not only in music classes at Anna McDonald, but with choir and orchestra at the junior high level, that her passion for music motivates our students in District 114 to excel. She just doesn't teach, she coaches, expecting full participation for excellence. In my 14 years in education, there are none better than what I have in Mrs. Joyce Pacheco. Her passion brings out the best in all the children.    
Joyce Pacheco Manhattan Dist. 114 Elem. 1. Students continue their passion beyond their experience in her programs. 2. Her program encompasses over 1/4 of our school population. 3. Q&F helped her start the program with free rental of cellos and basses for the first year, the program became an envy of the school system as well as other neighboring schools. 4. Parents from other systems comment on the success that J. Wilder (Pacheco) brought to Manhattan 114. She is a deserving candidate because she implemented the first non-tuition based orchestra program in the Lincoln-Way Feeder System seven years ago. Since then, her program has flourished from 7 junior high students to over 90! Furthermore, her choral program has shown tremendous growth as well. Furthermore, she began a Madrigal Choir, complete with authentic renaissance outfits. All of her groups receive superior rating at competitions and are highly respected within the community. / Though she is my wife, as the principal of Manhattan Junior High School, I have first hand experience in witnessing the following miraculous results of her tireless efforts and passion for the fine arts in Manhattan. Her efforts have had a tremendous impact not only on the fine arts, but the community of Manhattan. Joyce Pacheco established the first NON-TUITION based curricular orchestra in the Lincoln-Way area. The process was a result of Joyce's passion for the arts over a two year period, during which, countless parents supported establishing the first orchestra in the Lincoln-Way area. The program has grown to over 60 students within 2 years. Other school systems in the Lincoln-Way Area are following Manhattan's lead with respect to orchestra. Joyce also directs the Chorus, over the past two years of doing so, the vocal program has grown to about 50 students and consistently receives superior ratings. Joyce Pacheco established the Manhattan Orchestra and Choir Boosters. She received nomination in the coveted "Golden Apple" award program this year. She is a deserving candidate because she implemented the first non-tuition = based orchestra program in the Lincoln-Way Feeder Systems six years ago. Since then, her program has flourished from 7 junior high students to over. Furthermore, her choral program has shown tremendous growth as well. This year (2012-13) has noted that approximately 1/4 of the school population is enrolled in a choir or orchestra ensemble. Ronald V. Pacheco, principal - Manhattan Junior High School 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009
Joyce Pacheco Manhattan Dist. 114 Elem. My son was in Orchestra with Mrs. Pacheco for most of the school year this year. We had some things happen in our family which caused a disruption in my son's ability to focus on his studies including his Cello practice. Mrs. Pacheco was so kind and patient with me and my son and responded to my concerns regarding him in a timely way and with the greatest compassion. Over the Christmas vacation Mrs. Pacheco came to our home to give Daniel a private lesson and refused to take compensation for it. I feel that she goes above and beyond the call of duty on a regular basis to assure that the Manhattan Orchestra not only exists but excels and that the children in the orchestra enjoy their time with her. She is a tremendous asset to our district and it is my hope that her hard work will be rewarded with this award. I can think of no better candidate! Lori Horgan 2009
Joyce Pacheco Manhattan Dist. 114 Elem. I have a 5th grade daughter, who attends the Manhattan Orchestra with Mrs. Joyce Pacheco. She has been nothing but a true inspiration to all of her students. Her personality is always so gentle and thoughtful to all the children. She teaches with care and kindness and the children thrive on this. She teaches with professionalism and the children obey her. Her mannerism is so gentle, yet she still expects and receives 100% respect from her students. Her knowledge and love for this art has well exceeded any expectations I could have ever imagined. She is the most musically inclined person I have ever met, and you can see her genuine passion for music and her students as you watch her teaching and directing. For these few reasons, as well as countless others, I'm confident that is why her orchestras have done so well, and her students have come back successful winners at different competitions. Valerie DeVenuto 2009
Joyce Pacheco Manhattan Dist. 114 Elem. Mrs. Pacheco is a wonderful teacher, who is very positive. She has a lot of patients and has really taught our child to enjoy playing the violin. Chris and Shannon Voights 2009
Joyce Pacheco Manhattan Dist. 114 Elem. Mrs. Pacheco is a moral person who serves as a role model by living the standards she expects her music students to reach. Mrs. Pacheco consistently goes above and beyond her required duties as music instructor for Manhattan School District. Her dedication to the fine arts is not only apparent in the school district, but is evident throughout the community as well. Mrs. Pacheco's accomplishments include: 1) Implementation of the first non-tuition based Orchestra in the Lincoln-Way Area. In the countless curriculum meetings I attend at school districts in the greater south suburban Will and Cook counties, I have had the privilege of witnessing the envy of the surrounding districts. 2) As Director of the award-winning Manhattan School District Chorus, I have watched the program grow, due strongly to the enthusiasm and passion Mrs. Pacheco radiates to her chorus students. 3) Mrs. Pacheco is also responsible for implementing the Manhattan Orchestra and Choir Boosters which allows for the parents and community of Manhattan to see first-hand what a talented and passionate music instructor she is. Todd A. Gierman, Director of Curriculum, Manhattan School District 114 2009
Joyce Pacheco Manhattan Dist. 114 Elem. I am Joyce Pacheco’s father and naturally prejudiced but would add this to what has already been written and to which full and complete agreement is given. I saw her Winter Program at Manhattan and was greatly impressed. My view was that the musicianship of her string students surpassed the musicianship of the band program which is unique to most school systems. In addition, when she taught at Homewood she started something like 80 or 90 students in her string program. This is unheard of. Usually if a string program starts something like 20 or 30 students one thinks that this is fantastic. Usually the band program overshadows that of the strings program. May it be said, I was Music Coordinator for the School Town of Highland in Indiana for about 15 years at which time we had people from all over northern Indiana and Illinois including Illinois University at Champaign - Urbana and Vandercook in Chicago visit our school system to view the work of our teachers. It is my belief that my judgments regarding music programs has validity and is not just fatherly prejudice. Gordon Wilder 2009
Joyce Pacheco Manhattan Dist. 114 Elem. I am a proud parent of a beginner violinist who is currently under the direction of Joyce Pacheco. She is an outstanding teacher/mentor, and she should be considered for this award. Kimberly May 2009
Joyce Pacheco Manhattan Dist. 114 Elem. I have had the pleasure of working with Joyce as a booster parent and vice president and my 3 daughters have had the honor and privilege to have Joyce as a teacher in a variety of settings. We first met Joyce when my daughters were attending St. Joseph Catholic School in Manhattan, IL. It was her love of music and commitment to each child as an individual that helped my oldest two children develop a love and appreciation for music. Joyce not only was the choir teacher at St. Joseph, she also planned all the children's masses and encouraged the children to try solos during school masses and really step out of their comfort zone. She introduced them to competition and was the music director in the schools first ever musical "School House Rock". She brought a happiness and livelihood to the school that had been missing. It was very sad when she left and although they tried, the school never found that "someone special" to replace her. My family lucked out again though when my oldest transferred to Manhattan Jr. High and was reunited with Joyce as her choir director and music teacher. Cathy, Allie, Laura and Emily Nayder 2009
Joyce Pacheco Manhattan Dist. 114 Elem. Once again, my daughter thrived in choir and had a mentor that she still looks up to today. My youngest daughter had the honor having Joyce as a first year violin student last year. Although she thrived and loved playing the instrument, she had to choose between her passion of dance and her love for the violin and Joyce. Her last ditch effort to keep Joyce in her life was hoping Joyce was a dance teacher also! She didn't have to wait long because now she is in the Manhattan Children's Choir. She wasn't sure if she wanted to be in a choir, but all she knew is that she wanted Mrs. Pacheco to be a part of her day any chance she could get! I am sure you are aware of all of Joyce's achievements you can see on paper also. Her nomination for the Golden Apple award, her commitment and dedication to starting the first tuition free orchestra in the Lincoln Way feeder schools and her ambition in beginning the Manhattan Children's Choir to name a few. Joyce works tirelessly and always has a smile on her face and a friendly word for everyone. She is loved by all who come to know her.    
Joyce Pacheco Manhattan Dist. 114 Elem. Mrs. Pacheco has been an inspiration and a mentor to my daughter who is 10 years old and one of her orchestra students. My daughter plays three different instruments and Mrs. Pacheco has always encouraged her no matter what the case may be. She is a cheerleader when needed, a coach when necessary, and someone to share the passion of music with. She truly loves what she does and goes the extra mile to make sure the kids love what they do. I sincerely hope that Mrs. Pacheco receives this award, because she embodies what it means to be an educator. MaryBeth Perkne 2009
Joyce Pacheco Manhattan Dist. 114 Elem. She started the string program at Manhattan with such energy, enthusiasm, professionalism, and grace. She is constantly passing on the love of string playing to her students and colleges. Sara White 2010
Jen Silverstone Page Niles North HS an exceptional musician and educator. Her passion for teaching and getting to know her students and their families is what every parent would wish for in their children's teachers. Lori Lauff 2014
Jen Silverstone Page Niles North HS (Formerly Metea) She is an all-around outstanding musician and educator! Has proven very successful at all age levels.   2012
David Pakkebier Granger MS He consistently goes out of his way to make connections with his students that then provide new avenues to engage these students. I just fell that he is a remarkable educator. Chris Niesluchowski 2012
Dawn Pakkabier Still MS For unwavering commitment and dedication to the orchestra students and to a thorough music education experience for kids. Robin Langridge 2012
Eileen Pavlik St. Monica MS She should be considered because of her many years of service as well as developing/resurrecting the programs at the aforementioned schools. She hosts a yearly NCBA Solo Contest and has very successful students despite the scheduling and resource limitations at Catholic schools. Kevin Carroll 2012
Michael Pavlik York HS Mike is the most student-centered music educator that I know. His ensembles are incredibly musical and play at a consistently high level! Bill Riddle 2012
Carleen Pedziwater Manhattan JHS is organized, resourceful and runs a program that contributes to the area. Matthew Dj 2013
Laura Pendleton Fenwick HS She has played an integral part in expanding the instrumental music program. Since coming to Fenwick the program has gone from one concert band to two, a string orchestra, and jazz band. She continues to expect excellence from her performing groups. Rizelle Capito 2016
Margaret Philbrick Chute MS Mrs. Philbrick is a dedicated band director as well as the instrumental department chair person. She goes above and beyond the call of duty Megan Smith 2010
Geoff Pierce Serina HS Great job for 10 years building a rural program. Terry Redford 2012
Chris Pitlik Alan B. Shepard HS his continued efforts to promote music in the community and a higher music education in the high school. Brian Everson 2013
Ron Polomchak Lake Zurich MS South District 95 Ron came to District 95 right out of college, and has made his program there a truly exceptional one. His first thought is always for what is best for the students, and then what is best for the orchestra program. He started a strolling string group (South Silly Strings) that has quite the elite reputation with both the middle school and elementary students and teachers alike. He incorporated a string chamber music program into his middle school curriculum, which lead to a great increase in ensemble contest entries, and a record number of high scores for those events this year. He works tirelessly to incorporate full orchestra literature for Middle School South band and orchestra students, using every available minute for rehearsal during and after school. He actively participates in IMEA activities, and has hosted contest multiple times. Ron and his students have done fund raisers which were used to pay for commissioning new works, which have then been published. As a fellow teacher, in the elementary orchestra program which feeds into his middle school, I am always excited to attend his concerts and witness the steady continuing progress of the students I knew in their younger days. He is also always there to help me with my own recruiting and concerts, which I could not do without his assistance. Cathy Schmidt 2011
Carrie Provost Franklin MS-Wheaton Carie Provost works tirelessly for her students. They play very well, respect and embrace orchestra music. I see her work extend into the community when students perform music in church and at the Wheaton French Market. She is even seen playing in local restaurants herself. Carrie's years in District 200 have been frutful, but only because she instills a passion and love of music that can't truly be matched. She is most deserving of the title, "Outstanding Chicagoland Music Educator." Jeff Novak 2016
Carrie Provost Franklin MS-Wheaton Carrie Provost is one of the finest string teachers I know. Having worked with her students on numerous occasions, I have come to expect from the a high level of performance but also a love of music and joy of playing. This is because of Carrie. She is the complete pedagogue. The awards and recognitions that she and her students have received are numerous. Outstanding Chicagland Music Educator needs to be added to that list. John Fitchuk 2016
Carie Provost Franklin MS-Wheaton Carrie goes above and byond in and outside of the classroom to help her students grow as musicians and people. She works hard to expose her students to different styles of music, which can be ssn in her after school fiddle group and electric string instruments. She is a team player, always ready to try new ideas and offer suggestions to her colleagues. I can't think of a more deserving teacher to be recognized with this honor. Kelsey Dewar 2016
Carrie Provost Franklin MS-Wheaton Carrie has a passion for music and her students that knows no limits. She goes above and beyond to bring unique opportunities to her students. Just this year, she set up video conferences bewteen her class and Brian Balmages so her students can give input and ask questions about a new piece being commissioned. She also thoughtfully inspires her colleagues around her and has embraced me as a new teacher at Franklin this year. Carrie is one-of-a-kind! Kurt Makaryk 2016
Carrie Provost Franklin MS-Wheaton Carrie has given her students unique opportunities over the years: in the classroom, her students worked on composition and utilizing technology before they were even standard in the music classroom. Out of the classroom, her students have been invited to perform more than once at the ILMEA Convention. Carrie continually inspires her students to achieve. For a successful career in teaching music, Carrie Provost should be recognized and honored. Jill Carr 2016
Carrie Provost Franklin MS-Wheaton Carrie has continued to grow professionally and has used this growth to inspire her students through her involvement in Suzuki; Midwest Conference performances; ASTA workshops; being a part of the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp conducting faculty; and with almost 30 years of dedicated service in music education. I believe Carrie deserves to be recognized for this honor. Debbie Schmaltz 2016
Carrie Provost Franklin MS-Wheaton Carrie has given countless hours of support to her students over the years which has resulted in creating an outstanding middle school orchestra program Vic Scimeca 2016
Carrie Provost Franklin MS-Wheaton Carrie instructs and inspires her middle school students to such an elevated level of musical proficiency. Blake Jancius 2016
Carrie Provost Franklin MS-Wheaton Carrie is truly an outstanding orchestra teacher. Her expertise is evident to all who know her. Carrie is always looking for new ideas and technology to use in her classroom. She is passionate about music and passes that excitement to her students. She is a great role model for both new and old teachers. Next year she is retiring and the District 200 music teachers would love to see her honored. Lisa Volle 2016
Carrie Provost Franklin MS-Wheaton She is the best!   2012
Carrie Provost Franklin MS-Wheaton I feel Carrie is a good candidate for this award because of her 15 years of dedication to orchestras in District 200. Carries has had her orchestras perform in the past and this year at IMEA. Megan Patterson 2003
Carrie Provost Franklin MS-Wheaton ...consistently produces good quality orchestras every year. Diane Morrill 1999
Jim Rallis St. Damian, St. Marys, St. Christopher, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin Jim has been teaching students of a high level for 40 years. He has inspired many kids to go into music and helped them become great community members. Tony Rallis 2016
Ann Rapp (retired) Cooper MS of her hard work and determination to make an excellent music program. Ann has built an environment of excellence that students respond to and she should be recognized for it. Jeremy Budrow 2013
Ann Rapp (retired) Cooper MS she has dedicated many years to creating very high level music at Cooper! The work she does at the middle school level is second to none. Bryan Itzkowitz 2013
Ann Rapp (retired) Cooper MS is one of the most dedicated and outstanding educators I have ever worked with. Her love of teaching orchestra is shown through the students high level of performance ability. She goes above and beyond to make sure her students love music and how to create it. Cindy Severino 2013
Ann Rapp (retired) Cooper MS Ann Rapp has been an Orchestra teacher in District 21 for several decades, and her commitment to the quality of string instrument education has influenced the lives of hundreds if not thousands of students. Ann's dedication to creating strong musicians has helped to create a high standard of musicianship in the community that has helped to support all of her neighboring middle school and high school Orchestra programs. Lauren Wargaski 2013
Al Rendak Brother Rice He should be considered because of his passion for teaching and what he brings to his students on a daily basis. We recently had Al come in as a guest conductor and in two hours he was able to make an impact on our students. Chad Smith 2016
Bill Riddle York HS He has led me into music and made it the center of my life. He brings together all levels of players to a great and whole new level. Gregory T Kman 2008
Michael Riggs Antioch/Lakes HS for starting the orchestra program at Antioch and lakes high schools at the high school levels in lake county. Taylor Weinstock 2013
Eric Rivera Frederick Intermediate School He has worked diligently to build a wonderful elementary band program from the ground up. Steve Thomas 2016
Phil Robb Richland Grade School D88A …he is hard working and committed to his students and band. He is always willing to go the extra mile and he supports those around him. Danielle Hayes 2015
Phil Robb Richland Grade School D88A over the past five years, I have been able to get to know Phil. He is involved in IGSMA as a regular attendant at both meetings and contest. Phil is also heavily involved with ILMEA. He has served as our festival band co-chair, chair, and this coming fall will be festival co-chair. Phil is dedicated to his student's success and goes above and beyond the call to help out colleagues. Phil is a wonderful young educator and will go far! Jeff Muraida 2014
Pat Rocks ITW - Noble Academy He is a new band director and his program gets stronger and stronger each semester Steven Sanders 2016
Gail Rodin Joesph Sears MS Gail Rodin is an extremely dedicated music educator who goes above and beyond to ensure each student’s success. Everyday, she brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and love for music. That is why I believe Gail Rodin is deserving of the Outstanding Music Educator Award. Patrick Dawson 2011
Heidi Rogers Hill MS Heidi is an outstanding teacher and clarinetist. She constantly strives to provide her students the best possible teaching setting and then shares her expertise and talent with kindness. More than anyone I know, Heidi can turn a negative from administration or scheduling into a positive where many students benefit and succeed. I have the highest respect for her musicianship. Claire Fenton 2009
Dr. Michael Rogers (retired) Homewood/Flossmoor HS Always pushes students' musical level by choosing challenging repertoire outside their normal comfort zone Sara White 2012
Jennifer Rooney Union Ridge MS (Harwood Heights) …for her numerous contributions to music education which include creating exploratory classes for the middle school level such as "Rock and Roll History", "Jazz History", "Music in the Media", "Composing and Composers", and many others. She has also developed her own curriculum for each of these explanatories which include study units such as "Music in Film", "Composer Studies", "Foundations of Rock and Roll" and "Music in Commercials". By staying current with the music her students listen to, Jennifer helps them to connect their interests to other music from different genres and eras. Jennifer's students love to talk about music because they can express their musical opinions and are not afraid to ask questions in her classroom. Jennifer was a clinician at the 2008 IMEA conference in Peoria - her clinic was titled: "Connecting with Middle School Students: Using Pop Music in the Classroom". Heidi Rogers 2008
Jenny Rosario Troy District Elem. 30c Jenny is an outstanding music educator who puts the development of her students at the center of everything she does. She has strong relationships which inspires her students to work hard and achieve. Bill Goetz 2014
Lisa Rose Downers Grove MS D58 Lisa always holds herself and her students to the highest standard of musicianship. She is knowledgeable about teaching strings and, as a member of ASTA and active participant in IMEA, is always looking for new strategies to make her students successful. Lisa works collaboratively with her colleagues and parents of her students to create the best possible learning environment. She has mentored several string students who have become music educators themselves. Samantha May 2014
Peter Rosheger New Trier East HS Peter is the consummate music educator: a sound pedagogue, passionate teacher, and true professional. His student-centered approach has effected countless students' lives. Matt Temple 2016
Peter Rosheger New Trier East HS He is a master teacher and a role model for other educators. The students at New Trier are incredibly lucky to have him at the helm, and teachers in the profession have benefited similarly from his influence. Peter is just finishing his duties as a state leader with the American String Teacher's Association, which have spanned multiple years. He is also a key consultant for the educational outreach programs that the CSO has provided in the last several years. In both of these capacities, the effects of his strong leadership and vision for string education have made an obvious impact across the state of Illinois. On a personal note, I am honored to have him as a colleague, and I know that any music educator would feel the same way given the opportunity to work along such an incredible teacher! Matt Temple 2012
Mary Rudzinski Marie Murphy JHS, Wilmette Mary is a talented and caring teacher. She consistently produces outstanding orchestras at the junior high level. Mary has appeared with her groups at IMEA All-State a number of times, she teaches at VanderCook College, and has contributed to many music education publications. Mary is an innovative instructor who finds new and exciting ways to attract students to her program. In addition to teaching two fine string orchestras, Mary has developed strolling string ensembles, jazz string ensembles, country fiddling groups, and electric string ensembles. She is a teacher with the highest standards and a passion for our profession. I feel privileged to call her my colleague. Rob Blim 2005-2006
Mike Rugen Homewood Flossmoor HS Outstanding musician - some of the best ears I've been around. Has maintained an outstanding program for many years after following not only one but two "legend" directors. 25+ years of sustained excellence of the highest level / Maintained and built stellar choral programs. Best ears I have even come in contact with. Scott Barnas 2015, 2014, 2012, 2009
Cary Ruklic Lincoln Way West HS is a wonderful teacher who is building a great program at LW-West. The students learn so much from him and he has worked very hard to inspire the students at West. Jen Clark 2013
Cary Ruklic Lincoln Way West HS Cary is an excellent educator who has provided his students at Lincoln Way West a respectful and meaningful musical education. He also navigated the program though the tough loss of loved band director Steve Nedzel. Cary is always organized and professional. He is a shining example of our profession at its best. Mark Iwinski 2014
Mark Running Glenbrook North HS He has had a wonderful career at GBN and has maintained a consistent level of high quality throughout. Steve Thomas 2016
Robin Sackschewsky Metea Valley HS She has worked hard to help many students and teachers develop and further develop their love of music and has been a great 204 leader. Lori Lauff 2012
Robin Sackschewsky Metea Valley HS She is a tireless advocate for string students! She goes above and beyond for every child no matter their ability level. Beth Myers 2012
Barbara Saks Park View School - Morton Grove Barb has developed an excellent band program at ParkView. They have received top honors at festivals and contest over the last several years. She sets high expectations for her student and encourages them to perform with confidence and musicality. Marc Smith 2005
Barbara Saks Park View School - Morton Grove She has consistently developed outstanding bands in a small school setting. Her bands play with excellent musicianship. Each year, she brings a very large number of high quality entries to solo & ensemble contest. Ken Wistrom - Thomas MS-Arlington Hts 1998
Patty Sampson Aurora West HS She is a wonderful band teacher and personally opened the door for me to become a band teacher myself. David Seifert 2016
Patty Sampson Aurora West HS This individual has built up the band programs wherever she has gone. At Aurora West, Ms. Sampson's groups have received high scores and outstanding awards. Also, a great educator! David Seifert 2015
Steve Sanders UIC Prep A good educator; built the program, which continues to grow. Recently became VCM Alumni President. Received a prestigious educators award. Michael Teolis 2016
Steve Sanders UIC Prep   Pat Benson 2015
Steve Sanders UIC Prep I would like to nominate Steven Sanders of UIC College prep. Although I can't say I know first hand everything he has accomplished, I have heard from others, especially at VCM and from my rep, Rob Scott, of the great things he's doing. The fact that he received that exclusive national educators award says a lot. I understand he's been building a program from practically nothing and regularly showing success. He's bright, talented, and innovative, not to mention enthusiastic about education. I think Rob could tell you more and learn some of the specifics from him. I do hope you consider some of the things the reps might have to offer. Michael Teolis 2015
Greg Scapillato Northbrook JHS He has worked diligently on the "Get on the Bus" program Jen Scapillato 2016
Greg Scapillato Northbrook JHS Great connection with students, wonderful exposure to "real life" musical situations. Mike Wallace 2015
Greg Scapillato Northbrook JHS of the incredible work he has done with the beginners and beginning jazz groups in this district Doug Schuler 2005
Doug Schuler Northbrook JHS He has a very musical band that reads well. He is "all about the students". I would want my daughters to be part of the program at this school because of him. Teaches at a high level and make music fun. His students enjoy performing and stay in the program. Best of all, they want to continue to make music in high school. He also puts in tons of time to make sure students succeed. Jeff Jay 2013, 2012, 2000
Doug Schuler Northbrook JHS ...of many good years of service in various districts. He has been a very strong teacher and educator of instrumental music in the northern suburbs for over 20 years. Great programs - great guy! Bob Rzeszutko 2012, 2011, 2000, 1997
Doug Schuler Northbrook JHS he was my first band director & played a part in my decision to choose music education as my career. Doug continues to be a wonderful colleague and mentor! I have fond memories of Doug as my teacher and I'm honored to work along side him in this field! Kristen Kudert 2006
Dana Shoemaker Frankfort JHS She consistently produces outstanding jazz and concert bands Tom Lamb - Mokena Dist 159 2001
Dana Shoemaker Frankfort JHS terrific sounding concert and jazz bands. Very well-organized groups that result in fine performances at SuperState, Midwest Clinic, IGSMA, etc. anonymous 2008
Dana Shoemaker Frankfort JHS Outstanding Work with MANY Students Sandra Thompson 1998
Scott Silder Naperville Central HS I would like to outline some of the accomplishments of Scott Silder for the Naperville Central HS Band Program: performances for our Wind Ensemble at IMEA State Convention 2006, IMEA State Convention Jazz Ensemble 2007, finalist 2008 ISU Marching Contest. He has been recognized as the "Honor Band" for the Chick-fil-A Bowl with the Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, and Marching Redhawks, 2008 medal finish at the Midwest Color Guard Circuit and moving to WGI Championships, Grammy Signature Music School. Under his leadership the band performed in the movie, "The Weatherman" starring Nicholas Cage. He has toured the country with the concert and jazz programs. It is very challenging to express in a short letter how much of integrity Mr. Scott Silder possesses. He is first and foremost a devout Christian, a husband, and educator. He lives his life in a way this is based on his faith which translates into only the highest of ethics and morality. Scott also leads a Bible study once a week after school. I thank you for your time and consideration... D.J. Alstadt 2006 2007 & 2008
Katy Sinclair University of Chicago Lab Schools HS Katy is an inspiring and energetic teacher each and every day. There is music coming from her classroom at all times, and she creates an environment where students thrive. Kids at Lab flock to Katy for the excellence and personal touch she puts into everything she does. Katy also supports the entire Music Department as chair, and embodies the type of teacher and music educator that all students deserve. Rozalyn Torto 2011
Mary T. Skomasa Lincoln MS-Park Ridge she has that “special” quality that makes a great teacher. Mary has not acquired success by simply doing what is required instead she does that which is above and beyond at all times. Her drive teaches her to find new and exciting ways to serve her students well. She reaches students by motivating them to achieve their highest potential. Mary builds their spirits and teaches them to have faith in their own abilities-because she knows they each have a gift to give. Mary has the ability to make a difference in a child musically, but it is more important to reach the child as a whole being. Mary’s passion for music and life is what makes good people great and great people the best! Patti Wlodck 2000
Jason Skube Homer JHS Jason has a high level of knowledge of music as well as a genuine desire for his students to succeed. He is also a friendly dude. Jason Thompson 2011
Christian Smith Mather HS Christian should be considered because of his dedication and selfless contributions to the CPS music aesthetic in general. He has given freely of his time and single-handedly staffed several schools (Amundsen and Curie) with former student-teachers. In a very brief career at Mather, he has largely on his own improved the quality of education offered to many students in non-testing/neighborhood school environments. Environments which in turn, need these programs the most. Christian is the real-deal who is in this profession for all the right reasons. Sean Reidy 2011
Megan Smith Haven MS ...she consistently produces highly qualified students who deeply appreciate music. Megan has helped develop hundreds of music lovers. She has helped instill a passion for music that her students will take throughout the rest of their lives. Paul Levy 2015, 2012, 2010
Ryan Snowden A Vito Martinez Middle School Ryan is dedicated to teaching all his students and really strives to make sure all students are making progress. He also can perform and model all instruments at a high level. Tyler ? 2016
Dave Stahlberg Hubbard HS he is passionate about providing his students with a quality education and is driven to help them be successful on their instrument. He's the most caring and giving teacher I have ever worked with. Patrick Benson 2013
Don Stinson Naperville North HS …he has done a lot of work to rebuild the program after losing his feeder programs.   2012
Craig Sunken Grove JHS He is a caring, thoughtful person who exhibits high quality instruction Wesley Smith 2014
Anthony Svejda Oak Park and River Forest HS He is a consummate professional and achieves great results for his students   2016
Anthony Svejda Oak Park and River Forest HS I feel this candidate should be considered because Anthony works tirelessly to run a program that should really have another director. He has fostered a very positive environment, and has made high-visibility ensembles such as marching band much more popular with the kids, and the community Tom Kanwischer 2007
Rosalie Sward Fairview MS Dist 72 Skokie Her attention to detail concerning string instruments (I’ve had the opportunity to judge some of her solo string students!) Also, I’ve heard her junior high orchestra perform to the level of a high school orchestra! Celeste Lake - Grove JHS 2000
Erik Swenson Haines MS-St. Charles recipient of 2004 Kane County Educator of the Year Award; well respected by students, parents, community and administration; holds his bands responsible to the highest level of musicianship; graciously declined a request to become a principal Fred Bell-Pleasantdale District 107 2006
Mike Szczasny Prairie View MS is a fantastic member to both myself and his students. A prime advocate of music in our schools! Anthony Bartucci 2013
Kim Tallungan Millenium MS 153 is dedicated to the field of music education and to her students. She is an outstanding example of a band director. Jenna Lake 2014, 2013
Chris Tedeschi Crete Monee HS …of his dedication to the students of Crete-Monee and outstanding work in the field. Jeff Brath 2015
Rob Tejada Haven MS-Evanston Rob has outstanding knowledge and skill to educate middle school band students. He also has a unique talent to make band fun for students Megan Smith 2008
Anna Teliszczak Batavia HS Anna is a fantastic music educator and musician. She was outstanding as the associate director at Lockport HS and is now brining Batavia HS Bands to new heights. KT Carroll 2014
Michael Teolis Latin School of Chicago He has always run a great program. Dan Stark 2016
Michael Teolis Latin School of Chicago Years of service to the community Kingsley Tang 2016
Steve Thomas Grayslake MS He is able to create excellent performing ensembles from students of all levels of achievement. Aaron Mulder 2016
Steve Thomas Grayslake MS Steve has excellent skills both with students and parents. He's been able to build a quality program from virtually nothing over his time at GMS. His teaching skills should be nonored and recognized by his peers Jeremy Budrow 2016
Steve Thomas Grayslake MS He's done great work for the jazz community. His jazz band is stellar, and they've even opened for the DePaul Jazz Band at Chicago's Jazz Showcase. Aaron Mulder 2015
Andrew Thompson Fenwick HS in the 2 years he has been at Fenwick he has implemented changes that have helped grow the music program. Jazz Band for credit class; Band 20% project; involved in school musical. Rizelle Capito 2013
Jason Thompson Homer JHS Always maintaining such high standards of excellence at Homer Jr. High Program. Ryan Snowden 2016
Jason Thompson Homer JHS …of his desire and application of creating quality musicians at the elementary level. Rather than creating beginners, musicians are created at Homer JHS. Jason Skube 2011
Kathy Thorson Wilkins JHS I feel Kathy deserves this award for her many years (25 plus!) of service to her students, school district, community, and the field of music education. Kathy is extremely passionate and puts MANY hours of extra time in to ensure that the events in SD 109, such as S&E and Band-o-Rama are top quality. I have the special opportunity to call her my colleague and co-worker and my students will make their way under her great direction. Daniel Kent 2015
Ken Tonaki Sycamore HS 20 years ago, Ken took over a program that was given up for dead. He taught 4 - 12, including a high school with only a hand full of members. We now have two high school orchestras and three teahers for 4 - 12. The program has gained a statewide reputation and has performed twice at the ILMEA conference. Ken Goodman 2016
Ken Tonaki Sycamore HS …of his commitment and dedication to take a small program in a rural setting and push it to the high standards of performing at IMEA twice in his career. Melissa Marberry 2012
Ken Tonaki Sycamore HS …he brought a string program from the brink of extinction to a program with a state-wide reputation Ken Goodman 2011
Ken Tonaki Sycamore HS …goes above and beyond- students are recognized as top notch. IMEA numbers- 11 string kids. Group at Allerton String Workshop Amy Tonaki 2010
Ken Tonaki Sycamore HS He has consistently improved the level of musicianship of his ensembles, and he is always looking for ways to become a more knowledgeable educator. He is respected by his peers and his students. His groups have performed at All-State twice, is a frequent clinician, and has sent chamber string groups to the U of I festival for about eight straight years Scott Merteus 2012, 2010, 2005
Ken Tonaki Sycamore HS He works wonderfully with his students and has produces well trained ensembles. The success of the program is completely his doing. Alicia Cool 2005
Dennis Trainor (retired) Hancock College Prep High School of his outstanding contributions and dedication to music education. Director of Bands for 35 years with the Chicago Public Schools. John Catomer 2016
Dave Tribley Vernon Hills HS he has been an integral part of the VHHS high musical standards. He has also helped to bring a jazz background to the jazz band and combo. He is a fine musician. Jim Gabrett 2013
Lawrence Underwood Indian Trail MS-Addison High quality band program. 1st Division ratings annually at IGSMA district and state festivals. Christopher Bucaro 2015, 2012, 2010
Lawrence Underwood Indian Trail MS-Addison he is an outstanding educator and leader Francie Lucente 2006
Mike Wallace Notre Dame, Ressurection HS He has done an outstanding job with the Gordon Tech and Notre Dame Eric Olson 2005
Mike Wallace Notre Dame, Resurrection HS Mike has transformed this high school band program over the past few years and his students play with good fundamentals as well as musically. He is a hard working teacher that is making a difference in the lives of his students. He also worked to establish a strong support system within his school and among his parents. Having had the chance to work with many bands in the Chicago area, I can tell you that this program is a real up and comer. Charlie Menghini 2009
Benjamin Washington King College Prep HS He shows unwavering dedication to his students. Has been inspiring students for over 15 years. Jeremy Rowland 2016
Joanne Wegscheid Edison MS She consistently has outstanding groups. She has innovative ideas like her garage orchestra which meets during the summer. Melissa Schoonover 2012
Joanne Wegscheid Edison MS Joanne has created an outstanding music learning community in Wheaton. She excels in communication with private teachers, parents, and especially students. She is caring and energetic. She sets high standards, students work hard, playing very musically. Through social activities and dynamic orchestra offerings/ rehearsals, she builds a team spirit and loyalty. The students love orchestra and Mrs. Wegscheid. My students have gained much in her class Carol Ourada 2010
Joanne Wegscheid Edison MS She has a wonderful way with her students - she is bubbly, full of enthusiasm, and is an extraordinary motivator. Joanne always goes above and beyond the call of duty for her students and colleagues! She is full of energy, and her students love her! She gets fantastic musical results from her orchestras, and deserves this award. She is an extremely dedicated teacher who always thinks first of the students. Joanne exudes enthusiasm, and is a tireless worker. Carrie Provost 2007, 2009, 2010
Joanne Wegscheid Edison MS Joanne gives her students 150% of her attention at all times. I have never met such a caring and giving teacher. She NEVER slacks or wishes she could have a period of class time off. She's exciting and fun, yet sets clear limits in her classroom. Joanne provides excellent opportunities for her orchestra students, including tours, contests, a lock in where students perform a play-a-thon and raise money for organizations, most recently the Red Cross, and has a garage orchestra over the summer to keep her students interested and excited about playing their instruments. Joanne is also part of her professional organizations, has been a guest clinician, and has served on a State Leadership Committee with Bill Jastrow...I cannot sum up into words what an outstanding teacher Joanne Wegscheid is. Jill Carr 2006
Joanne Wegscheid Edison MS She is always very enthusiastic & chooses music that teaches concepts while still being interesting for the students. She does a great job of encouraging her students. Innovative summer “garage orchestra” at her home to motivate students which has blossomed into a huge event. She consistently finds innovative ways to teach. Melissa A Schoonover 2002 & 2009, 2010
Joanne Wegscheid Edison MS She has and continues to do a phenomenal job building both her program and the district orchestra program. Christy Reichenbach 2009
Joanne Wegscheid Edison MS Please submit my endorsement for Joanne Wegscheid as the Outstanding Music Educator Q & F award this year. Blake Jancius 2009
Joanne Wegscheid Edison MS This year Joanne was assigned a high school group . In her first year with tem, she has not only expanded the program but shares a love for music with the students that shows clearly in their playing and behavior. I have never met anyone with so much positive energy dedicated to teaching music as Joanne is. Pauls Johannesen 2010
Joanne Wegscheid Edison MS Joanne Wegschedi teaches students to love music and to take great pride in their efforts. She recently began to teach a few sections a the high school increasing the enrollment by 50% Del M. Kanne 2010
Joanne Wegscheid Edison MS      
Joanne Wegscheid Edison MS I would like to nominate Joanne Wegscheid for the Q and F Award. Dan Dupree 2009
Joanne Wegscheid Edison MS Since taking over the high school orchestra this year, the interest and energy in orchestra has exploded! .The groups increased in size and enthusiasm. Joanne has high standards for all and provides many performing and social opportunities as well. Jeanne Johannesen 2010
Brian Weidner McHenry HS   Cody Halberstadt 2014
Dave Weinstein Forest Park JHS Dist 91 he is one of the most thorough teachers I've ever seen. Students get high marks at contest and he always has a great band. Teaches in all four schools in his district Darryl Boggs 2006, 2010
Jennifer Wetzel Mokena Elementary (General Music/Band) I met Jennifer when she was teaching general music in Galesburg, IL. I have never seen a more dedicated elementary music teacher. Jennifer truly understands the way children learn music and uses amazing ideas and enthusiasm in all that she teaches. Not only did she always know all of her student's names for all of her elementary buildings, but she got to know each student and their individual needs. Jennifer is amazing at problem solving in the classroom. Her "bag of teaching tricks" is never low and she was always willing to help other music teachers in our district with ideas and planning. Jennifer also has an amazing heart for special needs students. She never got flustered or complained about modifications for specific students- she actually welcomed the challenge to make sure all of her students loved music. Jennifer Melugin 2007
Jennifer Wetzel Homewood-Flossmoor HS She was also the teacher who taught ME how to make concerts into educational experiences for the parents as well. She would write great program notes in her program and also have the students narrate what they had learned for each specific concert piece. She told me that this was to help the parents recognize that what we do as music educators is EDUCATE!! Music is not just play time, but also great learning time! These great reasons and many more is why I would like to nominate Jennifer Wetzel for the Chicagoland Outstanding Music Educator Award.    
Sarah Whitlock Homewood-Flossmoor HS Sarah expects excellence from her kids and is constantly giving her best to her kids to see them succeed in every aspect of life. Jenna Lake 2016
Sarah Whitlock Homewood-Flossmoor HS Sarah should be considered because of her dedication to her programs and the high level of musical achievement of her students. Jeffery ? 2016
Sarah Whitlock Homewood-Flossmoor HS Sarah demonstrates dedication and enthusiasm for our band program that has facilitated tremendous growth in both quality and quantity. She is also the District 1 band division rep. Erica Desaulniers 2015
Sarah Whitlock Homewood-Flossmoor HS Since her arrival, the program has increased in size and quality. Her students have fun, learn, and respect her. They also have ownership in the program Heather Hoefle 2015
Sarah Whitlock Medinah MS She should be considered because of her excellent rehearsal technical skills. She has been a clinician at different concert band festivals, often works with drum corps, and works positively with all of her students and peers. Kelly O'Neill 2010
Blake Wiener (deceased) Medinah MS …who has been teaching band at Medinah MS in Medinah, Il for the past 28 years. Blake is a dedicated colleague, teacher and friend of music education. As well as conducting his own program in Medinah, he has been active with the Bensenville Young Musicians Mentor Band for 15 years, the Lake Park Marching Band for 25 years, working as a private oboe instructor, and adjudicating both full band and solo & ensemble festivals. Blake is a true educator and artist who will spend whatever time it takes to reach a child and support the arts. In my early years of teaching, Blake was a mentor who helped me immensely. Blake will be retiring from Medinah at the end of this school year. I know his intentions are to remain active in music and education in the coming years. It would be a wonderful tribute to a man who has affected so many lives to see him into this next phase with a Chicagoland Outstanding Music Educator Award Stacey Larson 2008
Blake Wiener (deceased) Medinah MS I feel this candidate should be considered because of his outstanding achievements in instrumental education at Medinah Middle School for 25 plus years. Blake Wiener develops such a positive rapport with his students that goes beyond the middle school years with his involvement with the Lake Park Marching Band as a woodwind instructor. His pursuit for excellence makes Blake Wiener a great choice for the 2005 Chicagoland Outstanding Music Educator Award. ...Mr. Weiner made me a better student and inspired me to become a band director. Blake Jancius 2005 & 2007
Steve Willemsen Wheaton Academy HS He's one of the coolest band guys…for a string player! Seriously, he is a caring professional with all students, motivates them through passion and continues to make flourishing musicians (and all while having fun doing it. / His outstanding commitment to his students and the passion he has for musical excellence. Great colleague! Jennifer Melugian 2014, 2012
Jeffery Wirtz Hinsdale Central HS Jeff Wirtz has a passion for music and a heart for his students. He provides outstanding musical experiences for his students that include regular tours of Europe. He also programs the very best literature for his orchestras, exposing his students to works by all the great composers. His students affectionately refer to him as "Papa Wirtz" or sometimes, because of his involvement with basketball, simply "Coach." He retires this spring after growing the program to record numbers. Matt Kurinsky 2016
Ken Wistrom Thomas MS-Arlinton Hts Dist 25 Ken has a long history of excellent bands. Year after year, his students achieve so much more than the average middle school band in terms of musicianship. His students go on with their high level skills and a love for their instrument and music in general. Since his time teaching in the Chicago area, he has nurtured and developed excellent band programs. With Thomas, the Wind Ensemble has taken high honors at contests & festivals. The students love being in band and have grown tremendously under his leadership. Ken has a long standing history of fabulous bands. His kids go onto the Hacey HS band program which is widely known for excellence. He has been a terrific example of what good teaching is. Candi Horton 2005, 2010, 2011
Ken Wistrom Thomas MS-Arlington Hts Dist 25 (retired) ...of his professionalism and ability to make children thirsty for musical achievement. His band consistently play very well. His years of experience have enabled him to get the most from his students. He is well respected in the music education community. Dana Berry 1998 & 1999, 2010
John Wojciekowski St Charles North HS Extremely knowledgeable, excellent motivator, gets the most out of his students Kevin Bdobbeck 2012
Beth Wood Carpentersville MS The most humble educator I know, Beth has quietly built a fantastic string program in a Title I school where technique and skill matter Michael Kasper 2012
Jessica Taylor Woody East Maine JHS Dist 63 I feel this candidate should be considered because of her remarkable teaching skills, excellent rehearsal techniques and outstanding rapport with her students. Jessica consistently provides all the fundamentals of an excellent music education to all levels of her students which results in extraordinary performances. She has a keen sense of the needs of the middle school student and is an excellent model of impeccable character for them. I feel this candidate should be considered because she is a master teacher with over 20 years experience in building outstanding band programs. John Janusek 2002 - 2004 - 2007 & 2008, 2013
Jessica Taylor Woody East Maine JHS Dist 63 I feel that this candidate should be considered because of her superior teaching/rehearsal skills, rapport with students, quality of character and vast knowledge of music literature. Jessica Woody Taylor is truly a "Master Teacher". Raymond C. Jacobs 2004 & 2008
Regeneld Wright Proviso East HS He teaches with what little he has and turned the school band into a marching powerhouse. Terrific trumpeter, great direction and leader. Get much respect from all-over 20 years at Proviso has taught over 35 years; band has played various bow games. Has a solid program; sets his students into college programs; and is a beacon and legend in the Proviso area. Darryl Boggs 2013, 2006, 2010
Stephanie Wubbena Plainfield Elem. Stephanie Wubbena is an incredible music educator. Stephanie has made a lasting impression in District 62 for the past 10 years. She has completely devoted herself to her students and the music education profession. During her time in District 62, she has received her Masters in Music Education at University of Illinois (Urbana-Champagne). She began her music education career as an elementary general music teacher, but is now changes the world as a beginning band teacher. Currently, Stephanie is the Instrumental Department Leader in District 62. As the Instrumental Department Leader, Stephanie has been able to effectively balance her administrative and classroom responsibilities. Since Stephanie is the liaison between the instrumental teachers and the district administration, she has had to fight for our program on multiple occasions. Impressively, she is almost always able to come to a compromise that pleases both teachers and administrators. Stephanie was assigned to be my mentor when I was hired in District 62. Under her mentorship I learned a great deal about the... Amy Lewis 2012
Stephanie Wubbena Plainfield Elem. importance of cultivating relationships with students and co-workers. Stephanie has a profound impact on the students she teaches. Former students, some that may have only had her for one year, are always excited to see their old music teacher. Stephanie also has a lasting impact on the teachers she works with. Stephanie Wubbena is the ideal outstanding music educator. She constantly looks for ways to improve her skills by regularly attending music conferences and workshops like IMEA or Midwest. The information that she learns is quickly discussed between her colleagues so they have an opportunity to grow as well. She leads by example. Through the mastery of inspiring her students, colleagues, and making a lasting positive impression on everyone she comes in to, Stephanie Wubbena completely deserves the Chicagoland Outstanding Music Educator Award.    
Greg Zalapi Woodland MS is a great band director who is always integrating technology into the band class room. Carolyn Awe 2013
Jeff Zilke Sundling JHS-Palatine Jeff has a proven track record of excellence in both his concert and especially his jazz program. He works tirelessly for his students, school, and the surrounding community. Megan Fitzgerald 2016
Jeff Zilke Sundling JHS-Palatine Jeff has displayed a high level of musicianship and has a highly organized and respected program. His bands have consistantly received high ratings for their performances. Jim Garbrecht 2016
Jeff Zilke Sundling JHS-Palatine He has a very musical band that reads well. He is "all about the students". I would want my daughters to be part of the program at this school because of him. Teaches at a high level and make music fun. His students enjoy performing and stay in the program. Best of all, they want to continue to make music in high school. He also puts in tons of time to make sure students succeed. Jeff Jay 2013, 2012
Jeff Zilke Sundling JHS-Palatine …of his dedication to his students and band program; consistently high level of achievement of his concert and jazz bands, outstanding work ethic and willingness to assist fellow music educators Megan Covey 2008
Jeff Zilke Sundling JHS-Palatine Jeff is an outstanding music educator - he always goes the extra mile for his students and would be a model for all programs to follow his creativity in getting students to improve through the use of modern day technology is amazing Jeff's groups play at a very very high level and his programs are always reflective and have a purpose - Jeff would be a great addition to the list of names that have already received this award from Quinlan and Fabish. Jim Garbrecht 2012, 2010