SES claims an honor: Williams state's top music educator - Carolinacoastonline

SES claims an honor: Williams state's top music educator  Carolinacoastonline

There was a second dose of good news for Swansboro Elementary School staff this fall as Lindsay Williams was recently named the 2021-22 N.C. Music Educators Association Elementary Teacher of the Year.

Williams’s selection followed SES’s Page Highsmith being named the Onslow County Principal of the Year.

Brent C. Anderson, chief communications officer with Onslow County Schools, shared information on Williams’s honor with the Onslow County Board of Education during its Dec. 6 meeting.

He pointed out that the N.C. Music Educators Association recognizes outstanding music teachers.

“Tonight, we are proud to announce that Swansboro Elementary School music teacher Lindsay Williams was selected as the NCMEA Elementary Music Teacher of the Year,” Anderson said.

For Anderson, the award had a personal aspect.

“Very excited for her,” he said. “I hired Mrs. Williams to be the chorus teacher when I was principal at New Bridge Middle.”

In his comments to the board of education, Anderson said of Williams, “The individual selected for this award is not only a first-class teacher of their students, but they also demonstrate a strong philosophy of teaching and advocating for music education. They are members of, and contribute to, their professional organization, participate in ongoing professional development, and regularly contribute to music education at the regional, state, and national levels.”

Appropriately, the presentation of the statewide award followed a performance by a group of Williams’s Swansboro Elementary students named to the N.C. Elementary Honors Chorus.

“Being selected for this award is the highest compliment I can receive as a music educator,” Williams said.

And, she added, the honor is one she shares with her school.

“My students make me who I am, and they deserve to enjoy this award as much as I do,” Williams explained. “I am so thankful that my colleagues and administration appreciate all the hard work I do in – and outside – my classroom.”

The NCMEA is a state affiliate of a national association.

According to the NCMEA, the Elementary Section selects an Elementary Music Teacher of the Year. Administrators, fellow teachers, or other professionals they have worked with may nominate teachers.

To be nominated, the individual must be an active member of NCMEA, teaching elementary school music and must have taught in North Carolina for at least five years.

There are 445 teachers in the NCMEA that are registered as “elementary.”

Williams has been an NCMEA member for 17 years.

Nominations for the award for the 2021-22 school year were due in June.

Williams – who was named the Onslow County Arts Teacher of the Year in 2021-22 – does not know where the nomination originated. But she said both Highsmith and Lisa Peele, Onslow County assistant superintendent, submitted letters of support.

In her comments, Highsmith said it was an honor to support Williams’s nomination.

“Mrs. Williams has a strong love for music and works diligently to instill a love of music in each of her students,” Highsmith wrote. “She is constantly adjusting her teaching to keep her instruction fresh and exciting for her students.”

In reflecting on Williams being chosen for the award, Highsmith said it was not a surprise as she is deeply involved.

“She shares her passion for her craft, learning and celebrating music with our staff and students every day,” Highsmith said. “In short, our school knows how passionate she is and how she is always finding ways to share her knowledge and grow with her students. We are so very excited that she was recognized for this honor.”

Dawn Wilson, the NCMEA Elementary Music section chair, presented the award on Nov. 6. The presentation came at the Stevens Center in Winston-Salem prior to the N.C. Elementary Honors Chorus performance.

Four SES students, including Williams’s daughter Emma, were performing at the event.

“Emma … was actually on stage when I accepted my award,” Williams said.

Williams, named the Onslow County Arts Teacher of the Year, 2020-21, serves as the NCMEA Elementary Section secretary. In addition, she serves as the NCMEA Music in Our Schools Month Committee co-chair.

A native of Red Hook, N.Y., she attended State University of New York Potsdam, The Crane School of Music. She earned the Masters Degree in Music Education from Boston University.

“I have been teaching in OCS since 2006,” she said. “I began at New Bridge Middle School and came to Swansboro Elementary in 2011.”

Williams and her husband Matthew have three children. Emma is in the fifth grade, Ryan, a second grader, and Noah, a kindergarten student.

* This article was originally published here

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