SLPS names Music Teachers of the Year
Kimberly Payne, a vocal music teacher at Patrick Henry Downtown Academy, and Veronica Simms, a vocal music instructor at McKinley Classical Leadership Academy.
Posted: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 10:27 pm
By American staff | 0 comments
The St. Louis Public School District has presented the Elementary Music Teacher of the Year Award to Kimberly Payne, a vocal music teacher at Patrick Henry Downtown Academy, and the Secondary Music Teacher of the Year Award to Veronica Simms, a vocal music instructor at McKinley Classical Leadership Academy.
“Ms. Payne uses her creativity to turn trash into music,” said Jana Haywood, principal of Patrick Henry Downtown Academy.
“She uses bucket drumming and SOLO cups to teach rhythm. She uses folk instruments and non-traditional instruments, such as spoons and washboards, as well as games and traditional dances to engage her students in learning.”
An educator with the district since 2006, Payne is a member of the Missouri Music Educators Association and regularly attends music instructors conferences and workshops. She has also cultivated community partnerships to advance the music program at Patrick Henry, securing 30 classroom guitars via a donation from the Classical Guitar Society of St. Louis.
Simms, a district veteran of 35-plus years, now teaches the children of her former students. She was nominated for the award by her principal and assistant principal. “Mrs. Simms has deeply engaged our vocal music students by developing powerful and relevant lessons which advanced student learning,” Principal Earl Williams said.
“As a music educator, I am held accountable for producing a student who recognizes the value of music as it relates to all aspects of the curriculum,” Simms said. “I teach. I care. I model. I want to be a positive role model for my students.”
The 2013 Music Teachers of the Year were honored with an awards reception and presented with a $1,000 award from Webster University. In addition, they were presented with a trophy, a plaque, and a $500 award for related education materials through the Parsons Blewett Memorial Fund.
To earn the Music Teacher of the Year Awards, nominees must explain their teaching philosophy and approach to teaching, be recommended by a principal and a professional colleague, and pass a classroom evaluation conducted by a team of professionals.