PLYMOUTH — Laconia music teacher Catherine Dwinal,'10, has been recognized by her peers as the nation's top music teacher. The prestigious Mike Kovins Technology Institute for Music Educators (TI:ME) Teacher of the Year Award recognizes outstanding dedication and enthusiasm in music educators who have introduced technology into their music classrooms. It is named in honor of the late Mike Kovins, who was instrumental in starting Technology Institute for Music Educators in 1995.
Since earning a bachelor's in Music Education from Plymouth State University, Dwinal has been teaching elementary general music and chorus at Elm Street and Pleasant Street schools in Laconia since 2010. Switching schools every quarter, she teaches over 30 general music classes, a brand new iBand, and 2 different after-school chorus programs. This prestigious award recognizes outstanding dedication and enthusiasm in music educators who have introduced technology into their music classrooms as a means to teach the standards of their music education program.
"I've surrounded myself with the right people who are always there to support, guide, and encourage everything I try," Dwinal said. "As long my students walk out of my room everyday encouraged to create, listen, and overall love music, I've done my job and with technology I can support that."
She uses her technology skills in and out of the classroom; she also a regular presenter about elementary music technology at educational conferences. PSU Music, Theatre and Dance Department chairman Dr. Jonthan Santore said Catie's national recognition is not surprising.
"When Catie was a student, she always exhibited strong interest in both technology and music education -- we're so proud of her bringing these interests together so strongly in her professional work," said Santore.
Catie was also proudly featured this year in National Association for Music Education's October 2013 issue of Teaching Music magazine for her work with TI:ME commercial members Quaver Music and integrating technology into her classroom.
The award was presented to Ms. Dwinal during the keynote presentation on Thursday, February 13 at the TI:ME National Conference held in conjunction with the Texas Music Educators Association conference in San Antonio, TX.