Retired music teacher C. Scott Sharnetzka was honored Monday night by the Harford County Board of Education as the newest inductee into the Harford County Public Schools Educator Hall of Fame.
Retiring in 2003, Sharnetzka spent 30 years in the school system teaching at Bel Air High School, from 1973 to 1979, and then moving to C. Milton Wright High School when it opened until his retirement.
"Mr. Sharnetzka made many significant contributions to the music program and to the school system during his career," Teri Kranefeld, the school system's manager of communications, said during the recognition ceremony. "As band director and department chair, he quickly made a reputation for that school's music program. His bands soon became organizations to be envied and imitated."
Sharnetzka, who graduated from the Peabody Conservatory of Music with a master's degree in trumpet performance, inspired young brass players throughout his time with the school system.
"In addition to serving on the county-wide gifted and talented committee," Kranefeld continued, "he was the recipient of numerous awards and honors during his career, including the Maryland Music Educators Association Award of Excellence, Outstanding Music Teacher of the Year award in 1997, the Maryland House of Delegates Resolution for Excellence for Outstanding Service to the Youth of Harford County in 1998 and, most recently, induction in the Maryland Music Educators Association Hall of Fame in 2012."
Since retiring, the educator has remained active in the music community in Harford.
He has been the director of the Bel Air Community Band and Bel Air Jazz Ensemble since 1996, is an adjunct music professor at Harford Community College and has served as a guest conductor throughout Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Sharnetzka insisted his success as a teacher in Harford County was the result of him being "at the right place at the right time" and, essentially, working with and for the right people.
He credited his mentor at Bel Air High School, the late Ray Dombrowski, for teaching him everything that he didn't learn in college.
Sharnetzka said he was "blessed" to have "a wonderful group of students" over the years.
"There are none better," he said about Harford public school students.
In addition, he thanked his fellow faculty members, including the original 42 teachers who went to C. Milton Wright when it opened, the parents who were "always there when we needed their help and always there when we needed the support," and the administration.
"I just happen to be the fortunate person who was there at the right time at the right place to get all those blessings," Sharnetzka said.
The honor, he continued, meant as much as it did because it came from his peers.
Sharnetzka finally thanked his best friend and wife, Sandra, who stood next to him with tears in her eyes, who has "been by my side, been with me every step of the way."