Music Educator of the Year Award

Each year, the Oregon Symphony in Salem honors a music teacher as Music Educator of the Year. The process begins with the nomination of candidates from any area of public classroom music education in the Salem-Keizer School District, including orchestra, band, and choir. The director of music for the Salem Keizer Schools makes the nominations, with possible additions from a committee of Oregon Symphony in Salem board members. Once the list is set, the committee members observe the teachers in their classroom setting, concerts, or other venues, then select the winner(s).

At the season’s final Oregon Symphony in Salem concert, the Music Educator of the Year is introduced to the audience and given a plaque, which is accompanied by a financial award to be used by the recipient’s school.


Past Music Educator of the Year Award Winners

2018/19: Jim Charnholm, orchestra, McKay High School; Kimberly McConnell, choir, West Salem High School

2017/18: Karly Schindler, general music, Chávez Elementary School

2016/17: George Thomson, West Salem High; Dr. David Brown, Sprague High; and Andy Thomas, Whiteaker Middle School

2015/16: Anisa Rodriguez Foroughi, general music, Four Corners Elementary

2014/15: Rebecca Couch, choir director, Walker Middle School

2013/14: Steve Phillips, general music, Auburn Elementary School

2012/13: Todd Zibelman, symphony orchestra and band director, West Salem High School

2011/12: Tiffany Gaither, general music, Schirle Elementary

2010/11: Carol Stenson, choir director, South Salem High School

2009/10: Jim Taylor, choir director, McNary High School

2008/09: Ike Nail, band director, West Salem High School

2007/08: Bonnie Gallagher, orchestra director, Whiteaker Middle School

2006/07: Holly Albertson, general music, Gubser Elementary; and Rosalie Karalekas, general music, Rosedale and Liberty Elementary Schools

2005/06: Stephen A. Nelson, orchestra director, Sprague High School

2004/05: Paul J. Mayhew, choir director, McNary High School

2003/04: Janet Romine, general music, Faye Wright Elementary; and Russ Christensen, choir director, Sprague High School 

2002/03: Mary Lou Boderman, band director, South Salem High School

2000/01: Richard Dalzell, choir director, North Salem High School 

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