• December 2, 2010 – The St. Louis Public School District has presented the Elementary Music Teacher of the Year and the Secondary Music Teacher of the Year Awards to two educators who have made significant and lasting contributions to the music teaching profession.


    Mr. Mark Clark, a music teacher at Lyon @ Blow Academy of Basic Instruction K-8 School, was recognized as the 2010 Elementary Music Teacher of the Year for drawing upon the rich musical history of all cultures to inspire and educate students.   


    “I want to show my students that music is more than just notes and theory. It’s even more than what they can hear with their ears. I want them to feel the music in their hearts,” said Mr. Clark.


    An educator with the district since 2001, Mr. Clark is known throughout the community for his musical abilities. He has formed and directed Honors Choirs that performed at the Fox Theatre, Forest Park Community College, Smith-Lee Recording Studio, KMOV Channel 4 and KSDK Channel 5. He has taught at the “Opera Camp” sponsored by the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and composed the “Do the Right Thing” theme song for the “Do the Right Thing” program sponsored by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, the St. Louis County Police Department, the Suburban Journals, KMOV-Channel 4, and the Cooperating School Districts. Mr. Clark also won the Libby’s $10,000 Jingle Competition.


    Mrs. Cheryl Alfermann, a vocal music and piano teacher at Carr Lane Visual and Performing Arts Middle School, has been named the 2010 Secondary Music Teacher of the Year for her abilities to teach important life lessons through music.


    An educator since 1974, Mrs. Alfermann has list upon list of recognitions; however, her personal accomplishments that she takes the most pride in are found in the successes of her students which include a student who realized that he did not stutter when he sang, a letter from a mom who was thankful that her son’s self-esteem had been restored, and   the memory of a tearful grandma who came to see her grandson do the lead role in a musical. The impact of Mrs. Alfermann’s teaching and friendship can be still be felt by students she had in class more than 30 years ago as highlighted in the excerpt from a former student’s letter below:

     (Mrs. Alfermann) You went above and beyond with me with the time spent after school, hours of recording instrumentals in order for me to practice and perform outside of school, personal talks to get me through the middle school meanies, and confidence to go forward with my music as far as I could take it. Thank you for being the best teacher ever and following me all these years in my mind and soul. You gave me so much more than I thought I deserved.


    The 2010 Music Teachers of the Year were honored with an awards reception at the University of Missouri-St. Louis where each received a $1,000 cash award from the St. Louis Public Schools Foundation.  In addition, the recipients were presented with a plaque and a $500 award for classroom supplies and/or professional development through the Parsons Blewett Memorial Fund.  For more information please contact the Office of Public Information (314) 345-2367.