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Debbie Cleveland flanked by her proud students, school administrators and representatives from the National Association for Music Education and Barbershop Harmony Society after a surprise visit.

Gaither choir director named 2018 Music Educator of Year

January 17, 2018 - Employee Excellence

In recognition of her excellence in teaching, performance and lifelong impact on young singers, Debbie Cleveland of Gaither High School has been named the 2018 recipient of the Barbershop Harmony Society (BHS)/ National Association for Music Education (NAfME) Music Educator Award.

A surprise announcement of the award took place on Tuesday, January 9, in the choir room of Gaither High School. Cleveland's family, school adminstrators, and National representatives of NAfME and BHS walked in unannounced to break the news to Cleveland.

The official presentation of the award will take place two weeks later, when Cleveland takes Gaither’s Hurricane of Harmony ​mixed chorus to California to appear in the International Youth Chorus Festival, held at the Midwinter Convention of the Barbershop Harmony Society.

The NAfME/BHS award honors educators who give students the opportunity to learn and participate in the joy and power that music education brings in uplifting the human spirit and fostering the wellbeing of society. “Debbie’s professional colleagues praise her consummate teaching skills, exemplary ensembles, and consistent superior ratings in all levels of adjudication,” said Joe Cerutti, director of outreach for the Barbershop Harmony Society.

"Debbie is not only an amazing role model within our school walls, she exemplifies the meaning of a servant leader within our community. The impact she is making in the community is lasting," said Mr. Thomas Morrill, principal of Gaither High School.


Source: Barbershop Harmony Society, 2018

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