Sarasota County School District elementary teacher and two middle schools honored by state association for achievements in music education

Honors accorded during Florida Music Education Association Awards ceremony in Tampa

(From left) Brookside Middle Assistant Principal Amanda Rojas, Fine Arts Curriculum Coordinator Angela Hartvigsen, Brookside band teacher Marina Pope, Brookside chorus teacher Holly Dewitt, Laurel Nokomis School elementary music teacher Charles Allen, Laurel Nokomis Principal Ray Wilson, Woodland band/chorus teacher David Wing and Woodland orchestra teacher Christopher Riley gather at the Florida Music Education Association Awards ceremony. Contributed photo

An elementary music teacher from Laurel Nokomis School and the music programs at Brookside and Woodland middle schools have been honored by the Florida Music Education Association (FMEA), the Sarasota County School District has announced.

The recognition came during the organization’s Awards Breakfast, held on Jan. 12 at the Tampa Convention Center, a news release notes.

The FMEA Awards “recognize the efforts and accomplishments of exemplary music teachers, school and district administrators, businesses and others who have made an outstanding contribution to music education,” the release explains. The efforts of all honorees help FMEA achieve its mission of “promoting a quality, comprehensive music education for all Florida students as part of a complete education,” the release adds.

Laurel Nokomis elementary music teacher Charles Allen was one of nine teachers statewide to receive the 2018 Music Education Service Award, the release notes. This honor is accorded music educators who have been active in the field for 25 or more years, the release points out. Allen was recognized for his 31 years of service.

Brookside and Woodland middle schools were presented with Middle School Music Enrollment Awards, the release continues. That recognition goes to music programs “demonstrating high enrollment in music courses,” the release notes. The honors went to Woodland Middle School Principal Cindy Hall and music teachers David Wing and Christopher Riley, with 47% of their student body enrolled in music courses, the release says. Brookside Principal Matthew Gruhl and music teachers Holly Dewitt and Marina Pope were recognized with 54% of students enrolled in music courses, the release adds.

“There is a high correlation between students taking music courses and high achievement in other academic subjects,” said Angela Hartvigsen, fine arts curriculum specialist for the Sarasota County Schools, in the release. “We’re pleased that our district’s dedication to music and other fine arts as an integral part of a well-rounded education is recognized by these statewide accolades.”