Every year at VMEA, as part of the JMU Alumni Reception, the School of Music presents awards to people who have achieved, in various ways, professional distinction in music education. We are proud to announce the 2016 recipients of these awards and hope you will send them your congratulations. If you will be attending VMEA this year, please join us in honoring them at the JMU Alumni Reception in the Mt. Vernon/Stratford Room at the Homestead Resort on Friday, November 18  from 6:00-7:30 p.m. 


Outstanding Early Career Music Educator Award

JMU undergraduate or graduate music education alumni who are in years three, four, or five of their teaching careers and who exemplify JMU’s commitment to musicianship and pedagogy are eligible for this individual award. The recipient will demonstrate:

• Effective, comprehensive, innovative teaching
• Service to and emerging leadership in the profession of music education
• Continuing relationship with and support of the music education program at JMU

2013 Recipient: Ms. Laura Lazarevich
2014 Recipient: Mr. John Mills
2015 Recipient: Ms. Anna Matijasic Hennessy

2016 Recipient: Ethan Murphy 

ethan murphy

Ethan Murphy is a 2014 graduate of James Madison University and is currently in his third year teaching at Freedom High School in Prince William County, Virginia. During his tenure at Freedom HS, Ethan has strengthened the choral program and sends all of his choirs to the Virginia district assessment. In the 2015-2016 school year, each choir that participated received a superior rating in sight reading. He now has students participating in All County Chorus, District Choir, and the JMU Vocal Arts Camp. He has also implemented sheltered instruction techniques to the large and ever-growing population of ESOL students at Freedom that move through his chorus classes. Ethan furthers his teaching expertise by teaching private lessons in the summer and during the school year.

He is very thankful and proud to represent his alma mater in his professional life and for the Outstanding Early Career Music Educator award.


Outstanding Music Educator Award

JMU undergraduate or graduate music education alumni who have taught for at least ten years and who exemplify JMU’s commitment to musicianship and pedagogy are eligible for this individual award. The recipient will demonstrate:

• Excellence in music teaching, including the development of comprehensive, innovative programs and curricula
• Service to and sustained leadership in the profession of music education
• Continuing relationship with and support of the music education program at JMU

2012 Recipients were Mrs. Joy Anderson and Mr. Keith Taylor
2013 Recipient: Ms. Laura Mulligan Thomas
2014 Recipient: Ms. Wendy Whitford
2015 Recipient: Mr. Thomas Tutwiler

2016 Recipient: Dr. Polly Sibert

 tutwiler

Polly Sibert holds a Bachelors Degree in Music Education and a Masters Degree in Orchestral Conducting from James Madison University as well as a Doctorate in Music Education from Shenandoah University.  Dr. Sibert began her teaching career in 1985 in Chesterfield County, Virginia, where she taught both middle school and high school orchestras for seven years.  Since1992 Dr. Sibert has been the orchestra director at Walker Upper Elementary School in Charlottesville, Virginia.  Dr. Sibert is the owner of Sibert Violins, LLC, and has been repairing, restoring, and building violin family instruments since 1989.  She performed as first violinist with the Lynchburg Symphony for several years.  Dr. Sibert has enjoyed mentoring many James Madison University practicum students and student teachers and has served as a guest conductor for the James Madison University Ben E. Wright Spring String Thing several times.


Outstanding Service to JMU and the Music Education Profession

This award will be given an individual who has provided outstanding leadership and service to the music education profession and JMU in the following ways. 

• Excellence in leadership in music education at the local, state or national level
• Significant recognized service to the JMU School of Music and its music education program

(This person will not necessarily be an alumna or alumnus of JMU.)

2012 Recipient: Mrs. Mary Wagner
2013 Recipient: Mr. Melvin “Jim” Harmon (posthumously)
2014 Recipient: Mr. Curtis Nolley
2015 Recipient: Mr. Earl E. Shaffer, Jr.

2016 Recipient: Moe Turrentine

shaffer 

S.E. “Moe” Turrentine –

Originally from Miami, Florida Mr. Turrentine holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Miami.  He holds a Master of Arts degree with a major in Music Education from the University of Alabama and has done additional study at the University of Virginia.

His teaching career began in Miami-Dade County, FL, March 1960, as an Elementary General Music teacher.  Continuing in Miami, he taught Jr. High chorus at Thomas Jefferson Jr. High.  In 1963 he moved to Dekalb County, Georgia and was band director at Southwest DeKalb High School for ten years.  He was offered the music department chair position at DeKalb College, South Campus, and later moved into the position of Director of Student Activities.

Missing direct contact with music educating students he moved to Fairfax, Virginia in 1978, and was director of bands at Annandale High School and in 1980 continued as the High School band director and Music Department Chair at Robinson Secondary School.

He was named Music Specialist in the Fairfax County Public Schools in 1984 and then became the first Coordinator of Fine Arts in Fairfax County a position he held for 11 years.  His responsibilities included the administration of 787 fine arts teachers and the entire fine arts curriculum.

Moe retired from Fairfax County Schools in 1998 and became the State Executive of the Virginia Music Educators Association a position he held for 16 years until retiring in 2014.  He continues to be active with music education as he is the conductor of the Garrett Community Concert Band in Garrett County, Maryland.  The membership of this band spans from 13 years to 80 years which demonstrates his philosophy that music education is a lifelong vocation.


Outstanding Cooperating Teacher

This award will be given an individual who has provided outstanding service as a cooperating teacher for JMU music student teachers in the following ways.

• A sustained record of excellence in mentoring JMU music student teachers
• A sustained record of interfacing and communicating with JMU student teaching supervisors
• A model of excellence in classroom teaching, recognized at the local and/or state level

(This person will not necessarily be an alumna or alumnus of JMU.)

2013 Recipient:  Mr. Greg Thomas
2014 Recipient: Mr. Robert Curry
2015 Recipient: Mr. Greg Oaks

2016 Recipient: Joan Kenney

oaks 

Joan Mulreany Kenney, earned a Bachelor of Music Education from James Madison University in 1983.   She received her vocal training under Dr. Gordon Olson, Ms. Sharon Christman and Dr. In Dal Choi.  She is in her thirty-first year of public school music education beginning in Rockingham County, Virginia in 1985 and presently as the Music Specialist for Edward G. Clymore Elementary School in Augusta County, Virginia. 

Mrs. Kenney has been recognized for her educational contributions as the VMEA Outstanding General Music Educator for 2014-15 and most recently, the VFW Teacher of the Year District and Regional Winner for 2016.  She has served as a guest conductor for Augusta County Elementary Honors Choir conductor in 2007, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and for Shenandoah County Honors Choir in 2011.  In 2014, Mrs. Kenney collaborated with Blue Ridge Community College on a school and community music project.

Mrs. Kenney has mentored student teachers as clinical faculty with the MidValley Consortium for Teacher Education since 1990.  She has trained music professionals by presenting at VMEA conferences, received a grant from VEMEA for District V teacher inservice and as a guest presenter at James Madison University and Rockingham County.  Mrs. Kenney has received numerous grants for instruments and equipment from Valley Alliance for Education.

In addition to her teaching career, Joan has served as the Director of Music for Bridgewater United Methodist Church since 1979.   She lives in Bridgewater, Virginia with her husband Dennis and enjoys spending time with her family and traveling.

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