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Educator of the Year awards, Schmitt Music

Congratulations to Schmitt Music’s 2016-2017 EDUCATORS OF THE YEAR: Steve Olsen, Martin Aldrich, and Paul Kile!

In an effort to recognize the work of outstanding school music educators, Schmitt Music and the SDC (Schmitt Director Center) set out to find the best of the best, and we’re honoring exceptional educators in three categories: elementary, middle school and high school.

Thank you to those who took time to nominate and recognize their colleagues, and congratulations to all the deserving, outstanding educators who were nominated to be one of the three 2016-2017 Educators of the Year!

This year we had a very distinguished panel of judges evaluating the submissions for Schmitt Music’s “Educators of the Year” awards. We trust their experience and integrity, and would like to say thank you for accepting the challenge of selecting the winners!

Todd Burkholder

Todd Burkholder

1st Year Judge

Todd Burkholder is the 2015-2016 High School “Educator of the Year” award winner; he teaches at Armstrong High School in Plymouth, MN in the Robbinsdale Area School district.

Scott Erickson

Scott Erickson

1st Year Judge

Scott Erickson is the 2015-2016 Middle School “Educator of the Year” award winner; teacher for Minneapolis Public Schools at Sanford Middle School in Minneapolis, MN.

William Webb

William Webb

2nd Year Judge

William Webb is a former director from the Edina School District in Edina, MN, and was the sole winner of Schmitt Music’s inaugural “Educator of the Year” award in the 2014-2015 season.

Angela Wyatt

Angela Wyatt

1st Year Judge

Angela Wyatt is the 2015-2016 Elementary “Educator of the Year” award winner; teacher at Northview Elementary and Oak Ridge Elementary School of Leadership, Health & Environmental Sciences in ISD 196, Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan in Eagan, MN.

Again, a big THANK YOU to all the colleagues and students who took time to nominate and recognize educators in their schools. All of our deserving nominees show a dedication to music education that is truly inspirational. Get to know a bit about the 2016-2017 Educators of the Year below:

Steve Olsen

Parkview Elementary & Shannon Park Elementary | ISD 196, Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan | Eagan, MN

Steve OlsenSteve Olsen is in his 36th year of teaching and serves as a 5th grade Beginning Band Director at Parkview and Shannon Park Elementary Schools (in the Rosemount/Apple Valley/Eagan School District).

Prior to teaching Beginning Band, Steve served as a Band Director and Department Coordinator at Rosemount High School, where bands under his direction earned state and national honors in the areas of concert, jazz and marching band, most recently performing in the 2014 Tournament Of Roses Parade.

Steve has served in professional leadership positions on the Board of Directors for the Minnesota Band Directors Association (MBDA founding member), Minnesota Music Educators Association (MMEA Band Vice-President) and the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL Music Representative). Steve’s professional affiliations include MENC, MBDA, MMEA, ITG, Phi Beta Mu and MEA. In 2005, Steve was the recipient of the “Impact Award for Distinguished Teaching” from the University of Minnesota. Steve is a graduate of Concordia College – Moorhead, MN and has a Masters Degree in Music Education from the University of Minnesota.

Outside of teaching music Steve is active as an adjudicator/clinician for instrumental music contests/festivals, and he is an active trumpet performer in the Twin Cities area.

Steve and his wife Natalie (who is a Band Director at Dodge Middle School in Farmington) live in Apple Valley and are the proud parents of three adult children and four adorable grandchildren.

Martin Aldrich

Clarinda Middle School | Clarinda Community School District | Clarinda, IA

Martin AldrichMartin Aldrich has been a band director in Southwest Iowa all 31 years of his teaching career. He has been the Clarinda Midddle School Band Director since 2003. He has also taught at Mount Ayr Jr./Sr. High School in Mount Ayr, Iowa, Shenandoah High School in Shenandoah, Iowa and Clarinda High School. Martin graduated from Morningside College with a Bachelor’s of Music Education Degree in 1984 and received his Master’s of Music Degree from the University of Kansas in 1986.

Martin is responsible for directing the Clarinda 8th Grade Concert Band, the Clarinda 7th Grade Concert Band, the 7th/8th Grade Clarinda Jazz Band and co-teaches the Clarinda 6th Grade Concert Band.

During Martin’s teaching career he has served the Iowa Bandmaster’s Association as a member of the Concert Band Affairs Committee, Marching Band Affairs Committee, and presently as the Southwest Iowa Bandmaster’s Association representative to the Middle School Affairs Committee. He has also served as the Southwest Iowa Bandmaster’s Association District President. The Clarinda 8th Grade Concert Band, under Mr. Aldrich’s direction, was selected to perform at the Iowa Bandmaster’s Association Conference in 2016.

Along with being a music teacher with the Clarinda Community School, Martin fills many district leadership roles. He has been a Journey of Excellence Mentor for first year teachers in the Clarinda Schools for the past five years. As a member of the District Leadership Team he is involved with planning teacher professional develop activities for the visual art, music, and physical education departments in the Clarinda District.

Marty has been married to Cindy Aldrich for 27 years. Cindy is currently the Clarinda Community School District Instructional Leader and has also served as the Clarinda Middle School band director from 1990-2000. They are the proud parents of two sets of twins. Their daughter, Katie Lahue lives in Waverly, Iowa where she works as a music therapist. Her twin brother, Kory Aldrich, is a 7th grade math teacher at Lewis Central Middle School in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Trent Aldrich is a US Airman presently on deployment in Turkey. His twin brother Troy Aldrich is music journalism major at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.

Paul Kile

Edina High School | Edina Public Schools | Edina, MN

Paul KilePaul Kile is in his 24th year of teaching. He began his teaching career as Director of bands in Albert Lea, Minnesota and held similar positions after Graduate School (U of M) in Stillwater, MN and Burnsville, MN. He has been the Director of Bands at Edina High School since 2010 and has been a band director at Edina High School since 2004. Mr. Kile has taught at the collegiate level (Bethel College), was co-conductor of the Greater Twin Cities Junior Wind Symphony, and is former Principal Conductor of the Calhoun-Isles Community Band. He is presently Associate Conductor of the Minnesota Symphonic Winds, an Edina-based adult community band founded by Miles Johnson and currently directed by Timothy Mahr.

Mr. Kile has a fine reputation as a conductor, educator, trombone player and euphonium player and is a frequent guest conductor and performer. In 2012, Mr. Kile was awarded Edina Public School’s “Teacher of the Year” by the City of Edina and in 2014 was featured as one of MPR’s Outstanding Music Educators in their “Teacher Feature” series. An advocate of both chamber music and commissioning, Mr. Kile has commissioned several works. He maintains professional affiliations with Minnesota Band Directors Association (MBDA), American School Band Director Association (ASBDA), National Association for Music Education (NAfME), Minnesota Music Educators Association (MMEA), College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA), World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles WASBE, and sits on the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies (GTCYS Teacher Advisory Council. Mr. Kile lives in Edina with his wife, Dr. Laura Pingry-Kile, who is the Director of Specialized Services for the Eastern Carver County School District, and his three children.


Once again, Schmitt Music would like to congratulate all of the outstanding educators who were nominated for “Educators of the Year” in 2016-2017:
  • Landon Barada – Logan View Jr & Sr. High School, NE
  • Phil Snyder – Waconia High School, MN
  • Julie Seiler Westwood Middle School, MN
  • Scott Prescott – Pioneer Ridge Middle School, MN
  • Sheila Wilcox –Virginia Middle School, MN
  • Andrew Norris – Gretna High School, NE
  • Bryan Johnson – Braham High School, MN
  • Darren Myers – Millard South High School, NE
  • Ed Schaefle – Blaine High School, MN
  • Jim Baxter – Princeton High School, MN
  • Josh Peterson – Mesabi East High School, MN
  • Brian Lukkasson – Spring Lake Park High School, MN
  • Nora Tycast – Spring Lake Park Middle School, MN
  • Ray Kirkpatrick – North Bend High School, NE
  • Conrad Miska – Eagan High School, MN
  • Britt Peterson – Hudson Elementary Schools, WI
  • Jeff Schoening – Treynor Community Schools, IA