Brandi Jason, instrumental music director at Liberty High School, was announced Thursday evening as the 2019 Carroll County Teacher of the Year.
She has been teaching for 16 years and has worked at Liberty since 2005.
Principal Kenneth Goncz wrote in a nomination letter for Jason that she was a master instructor and a director who puts countless hours into the community.
“She takes time to develop rapport with each student and uses this rapport to inspire and motivate them,” he wrote. “Her interactions with students in class or in a band camp setting are characterized by genuine respect and caring.”
Jason wrote, “My love of music coupled with a genuine desire to pay it forward to the next generation was the driving force behind my decision to become a music educator.”
Her application noted the growth of the instrumental music program, the high ratings in music assessments and the enrichment opportunities for students under her leadership as director.
Liberty has the largest instrumental music program in Carroll County. Jason directs the Honors Wind Ensemble, Honors Symphonic Band, Concert Band, Orchestra, Honors Orchestra and the competitive marching band Lions’ Pride, among others.
The program’s Patriotic Pops: Red, White and Blues concert for service people and veterans draws more than 700 people each year.Last year, Jason was one of nine finalists for the GRAMMY Music Educator Award, and has been a semifinalist on three separate occasions.
“The honor ensembles are performing college-level literature and continue to receive superior ratings at music assessment festivals. The marching band is ranked first on the Tournament of Bands Atlantic Coast (Group 3) – the highest scoring marching band in Maryland history,” according to a news release from the school system. “Liberty graduates 3-7 instrumental music majors annually and has the largest percentage of students participating in All-County and All-State ensembles.”
Jason has been a Carroll County Outstanding Teacher honoree every year since 2006.
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The other teachers named as finalists were the following:
- Aaron Robinson, Social Studies Teacher, Westminster High School
- Jean Luebke, Title I Resource Teacher, Robert Moton Elementary School
- Samantha Feeser, Special Education Teacher, East Middle School
- Kelly May, ELA Specialist, Elmer Wolfe Elementary School
- Kimberly Johnson, Library Media Specialist, South Carroll High School
- Jennifer Borcik, Social Studies Teacher, Northwest Middle School
- Lauren Stevens, Biology Teacher, Manchester Valley High School