Music Educator of the Year Award


Music Educator of the Year Award


Congratulations to Elizabeth Barkan of Fairless Local Schools
the 2016-17 Music Educator of the Year!  

The award was presented by Music Director Gerhardt Zimmermann at the February 25, 2017 MasterWorks concert.  The honored Music Educator was selected from a field of ten finalists chosen by a panel of qualified judges from the community.  All finalists were recognized at the MasterWorks concert and a pre-concert celebration.  

The 2016-17 finalists are:

  • Ellen Varn - North Canton City Schools
  • Ralena Dahlheimer - Canton City Schools
  • Arleen Scott - Lake Local Schools
  • Kirk Hofmeister - Canton City Schools
  • Ryan Smith - Perry Local Schools
  • Elizabeth Barkan - Fairless Local Schools
  • Rich Kibler - Lake Local Schools
  • Albert Flowers - Canton City Schools
  • Ronald Varn - North Canton City Schools
  • Sonya Ash - North Canton City Schools

Each nominee must be a full-time licensed Music Educator in a public, private or parochial school classroom setting in Grades K-12, in the region served by the Stark County Educational Service Center.  Educators from the fields of General Music, Instrumental Music, Vocal Music, Composition and Music Technology are eligible.  The honored Music Educator will receive an award of $500 to be used at their discretion.

The purpose of this annual event is to promote a greater understanding of and appreciation for music education as well as to honor those individuals who are making a real difference in our community through their dedication to music education.  Nominees should be music educators who:

  • instill and inspire a love of music and make a lasting difference in the lives of students of all abilities and backgrounds;
  • routinely "go above and beyond the call of duty" by extending efforts beyond the classroom;
  • make a significant impact on their community through music education;
  • inspire students to reach appropriately high levels of musical understanding and ability;
  • demonstrate longevity in the field of music education by their many years of work;
  • instill a lifelong appreciation of music in their students.

Nominations were due to the Canton Symphony Orchestra by December 15, 2016.  Please check back for information regarding the 2017-18 award nominations!

Questions?  Please contact Irene Barker, Director of Education and Community Engagement at 330-452-3434 ext. 604 or