Shawnee Mission music teachers are being recognized for their excellence by the East Central Kansas Music Educators Association (ECKMEA).
Steve Adams, Shawnee Mission South band teacher, has been selected as the East Central Kansas Music Educators Association (ECKMEA) High School Band Teacher of the Year for 2019-2020. Paul Schapker, elementary band teacher in the SM South area, is the East Central Kansas Music Educators Association Outstanding Younger Teacher of the year.
Each year, KMEA district music educators nominate fellow music teachers, with qualifications including at least ten years of teaching, along with improvement and / or consistency in their program over the years. Adams has been teaching at Shawnee Mission South since 1986. He will be awarded by KMEA Leadership at their annual In-Service Workshop in February. He will also be featured in the Kansas Music Review and KMEA state website.
Nicolas Platko, SM South associate principal, stated he has worked with Adams for 26 years, first as a student and now as a colleague.
“The success of Steve’s program can be measured each year by the number of students who are selected to district and state honors groups, the number of bands, ensembles and soloists taking away high ratings and rankings at music competitions, the number of students receiving high scores on AP tests, and the number of students that continue their love of music after leaving high school,” Platko noted. “His encouraging approach allows him to work well with students who face a wide range of challenges. Mr. Adams empowers his students to become leaders, entrusting them with many difficult decisions. He embraces the student-led concept because he knows that students will ultimately see greater reward through this process.”
The Outstanding Younger Teacher of the Year Award, which will be presented to Schapker, is given to a teacher who demonstrates high professional and ethical standards and a commitment and dedication to their students. This annual award recognizes a winner that shows motivation toward professional growth and development and that has completed two years, but no more than nine years of teaching.
They must also possess enthusiasm for teaching, love for music and desire to strengthen the musical education of students.
Bill Thomas, SMSD performing arts curriculum coordinator, describes Schapker as an impressive educator with a fun approach to teaching students difficult concepts and the demands of playing a band instrument.
“The gleam in the student’s eyes say it all as they are totally enthralled with Mr. Schapker and his teaching,” Thomas added.
Schapker will be presented the award at the educator's ECKMEA December Mini-Convention.