Our 2019 Music Educator of the Year Award goes to Linda Davis of Perry Local Schools.  Congratulations!

The CSO is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2019 Music Educator of the Year Award.  One of the finalists will be named the Music Educator of the Year at the orchestra’s MasterWorks concert on March 2.  Music Director Gerhardt Zimmermann will present the award on stage at Umstattd Performing Arts Hall.  The Finalists are (in alphabetical order):


  • Samir Al-Hadid – Marlington Local Schools
  • Kristopher Bleininger – Louisville City Schools
  • Carrie Chunat – Alliance City Schools
  • Heather Cooper – Canton Country Day School
  • Linda Davis – Perry Local Schools
  • Kelsey Giotta – Plain Local Schools
  • Deborah Paulis – Canton City Schools
  • Beth Polen – Perry Local Schools
  • Danielle Shaub – Lake Local Schools
  • Cindy Snyder – North Canton City Schools


Nominations for the award were open from mid-October to December 14, 2018.  The finalists were chosen by a panel of qualified judges from the community. All nominees will be recognized at the MasterWorks concert and a pre-concert celebration. The nominee must be a 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. Former recipients are not eligible to win the award in consecutive years.

Award Characteristics:
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:

  • make a lasting difference in the lives of students from a variety of backgrounds and abilities;
  • routinely “go above and beyond the call of duty” by extending efforts with students outside the classroom;
  • make a significant impact on their community through music education;
  • inspire students to reach appropriately high levels of musical understanding and ability;
  • instill a lifelong appreciation of music in their students.


Past Recipients:
2018 – Brian Kieffer, Plain Local Schools
2017 – Elizabeth Barkan, Fairless Local Schools