Carroll County Public Schools has been honored as one of the Best Communities for Music Education by the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation for the sixth consecutive year.
“It’s a great honor to be recognized for providing an exceptionally high commitment and access to music education,” said Karl Stewart, assistant supervisor of fine arts for the school system.
The designation was awarded to 738 school districts and 80 schools across 44 states “for the outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students, and community leaders and their support for music education as part of a well-rounded education for all children,” according to a news release.
Public school districts in Maryland counties that were recognized, aside from Carroll, included Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Frederick, Howard, St. Mary’s, Washington, Wicomico, and Worcester.
To qualify for the award, districts completed a detailed questionnaire about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instructional time, facilities and support from the Board of Education and the community, according to a news release.
Stewart said he credits the program’s success to all of the music educators in the school system.
“Our music teachers are on the front lines providing the best educational experiences possible for our students,” he said.
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The school system’s music program has been recognized for accomplishments at the state and national levels, including several students being selected to participate in 2021-2022 All-State ensembles, according to the news release.
In addition, Tamba Giles, a music teacher at Sandymount Elementary School in Finksburg, received a 2021-2022 Outstanding Teacher Award and is a finalist for the CCPS Teacher of the Year award. Rachel McCusker, a music teacher at Linton Springs Elementary School, was the 2015-2016 Carroll County Teacher of the Year and was recently elected to serve a second term on the Maryland State Board of Education.
Also this year, the Century High School Marching band was selected to represent Maryland in the 2022 Pearl Harbor Day parade in Hawaii. The parade is set for December.
“Their success is a direct reflection of the quality education provided by the music staff at Century High School and our school district,” Stewart said.
The Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade is held each year on Dec. 7, the anniversary of the attack. “The purpose of the parade is to honor and pay respect to the Pearl Harbor survivors, veterans, active-duty military and their families,” according to www.pearlharborparade.org.
“Our selection to be the marching band representative of Maryland in the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade this year is a culmination of a lot of diligence and perseverance of the past and current members, staff, and directors of the Century High School music program,” said Sara Norris Workman, band director for Century High School.
“We are just one program being recognized with this honor... there are bands and staffs around the county who work just as hard as we do, and are as dedicated as we are and it’s always exciting to see when the hard work of music teachers around the county is recognized,” Workman added.