Bay Village Schools honored for exemplary music program

The Bay High School Rocket Marching Band is one of the reasons Bay Village Schools has won the "Best Community for Music Education" award for the 20th consecutive year.

Standards for inclusion on the prestigious Best Communities for Music Education list have increased consistently over the last 20 years, but the Bay Village City School District has once again been honored for its exemplary music program. First recognized with the distinction in 2003 – and each year since – Bay Village Schools is among just 738 districts nationwide, and 47 Ohio school districts, identified for this honor by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation for 2022.

The distinction takes on added significance again this year since music education – perhaps more than any other school subject – is most affected by pandemic protocol that includes masking and social distancing.

“Music isn’t a class. For Bay Village Schools, it is our joy, and it is essential to who we are as a district,” said Char Shryock, Interim Superintendent for Bay Village Schools. “This award shows why music is a part of the lives of so many of our students.”

Music instructors at the Bay Village City School District are: Darren Allen (Bay High School instrumental music); Mark Awad (Bay Middle School instrumental music); Dr. E. James Kotora Jr. (Normandy Elementary School music); Allison Turnbull (Westerly Elementary School music); Devon Gess (Bay High School vocal music); Dr. Ann Gilbert (Westerly Elementary School instrumental music); Andrew Novak (Bay Middle School vocal music); and Carrie Singler (Bay Middle School and Bay High School instrumental music).

Districts who wish to be evaluated and considered for the Best Communities for Music Education distinction must complete a detailed survey about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, certification of instructors and other relevant factors about their music education programs. Examples of how music teachers collaborate on lessons and activities with regular classroom teachers must also be provided. Responses are verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

"The 2022 Best Communities for Music Education is an opportunity to celebrate music programs and honors the resilience and dedication to keeping music as part of a well-rounded education as we all adapt to a new educational landscape," said Christopher Johnson of the Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas. “If there was one common theme to be taken from all submissions, it’s that schools and districts found ways to sustain music education and student engagement in even the most challenging of circumstances.”

Karen Uthe Semancik

Karen Misciagna is the communications director for Bay Village Schools.

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Volume 14, Issue 10, Posted 9:51 AM, 05.17.2022