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Posted: September 8, 2015

Honoring Music Education in the District

The New Mexico Music Educators Association has honored several APS staff for supporting music for students.

An honor and a privilege for doing something they love, is what all of the APS winners of the New Mexico Music Educators Association awards said.  This year the association honored the following individuals for their dedication of music for students:

  • Administrator of the Year – Troy Hughes, Desert Ridge Middle School

  • Hall of Fame – Shelly Andes, Madison Middle School

  • John Batcheller Award – Christine Strickland, Eubank Elementary School

  • Music Educator of the Year – Donna Schmidt, Desert Ridge Middle School.

Donna Schmidt said she was pleased to be recognized for her commitment to middle school students.

“Middle school is a very difficult time for kids and music gives them a place to belong and it gives them something they can really grab on to,” Schmidt said.

At Desert Ridge Middle School the arts are important to the curriculum and success that students have, said Principal Troy Hughes.  “Middle school is an exciting age, what extracurricular activities does for them like music gives them an opportunity to experiment and try something they might fall in love with.” Hughes added.

This love of music does not come without having great teachers, which makes a difference for students. 

“The kids need great teachers and great experiences so their lives are worth living,” Schmidt said.

Christine Strickland was selected for the John Batcheller Award, which recognizes an educator for their work in an elementary school.  Strickland is a music teacher at Eubank Elementary School, which is a Fine Arts Magnet School.