Greenville High School band and orchestra director Susan Gould is a finalist for the top music teaching award in Michigan.
She is one of three remaining finalists for the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association’s (MSBOA) Teacher of the Year Award. The winner will be announced during the Michigan Music Conference on Jan. 19-21.
Gould said her Orchestra Teacher of the Year nomination is “hard to believe.” She first was nominated for the award in 2009 but was not selected.
“Being honored by one’s colleagues is an incredible feeling” Gould said.
The MSBOA includes all the schools in Michigan that have band or orchestra programs. They are divided into 16 districts, each of which nominates a band teacher and orchestra teacher for the teacher of the year awards.
The MSBOA State Executive Board narrows the nominations to three candidates each for band and orchestra. This month, the entire membership in the state is voting for the band and orchestra teachers of the year.
The Teacher of the Year recipients receive statewide recognition and get to conduct a piece with the Michigan Youth Arts Festival at Western Michigan University in May.
Gould has worked at Greenville Public Schools (GPS) for 21 years with a teaching philosophy that is the same as when she started.
“I work for the students and their parents each day. They are my employers,” Gould said. “I constantly ask myself, ‘If my own child had me as their teacher, would I be satisfied as a parent?’”
Gould tries to push her students to become better performers.
“This work ethic applies to both musical preparation and to life,” Gould said. “I want my students to start applying the concepts of hard work, timeliness, appropriate dress and manners and putting forth the quality, well-prepared product as soon as I get them in the classroom.”