Strings Teacher Honored with Music Education Award

HCPS Strings Teacher Honored with State Music Education Award
Posted on 12/04/2023
Jennifer JohnsonJennifer Johnson, the strings teacher and orchestra director at Liberty Middle School (LMS) and Patrick Henry High School (PHHS), has been awarded the Music Education Mentor Award from the Virginia Strings Teacher Association (VASTA).

The award is earned by a mentor who has made outstanding contributions to string and/or orchestra education and performance in Virginia through the mentorship and lifting up of other teachers. Johnson was honored on Thursday, November 16 at VASTA’s awards ceremony and annual meeting.

“I am very honored to receive this award. Thanks to Lucretia Davis for nominating me. I have to give a shout out to the other orchestra teachers in the county (Lucretia Davis – Oak Knoll Middle School and Hanover High School, Maureen Hawley – Bell Creek Middle School and Mechanicsville High School, and Stacey Burwick – Chickahominy Middle School and Atlee High School,” said Mrs. Johnson. “Although I received the special recognition, we should all receive the Mentor of the Year award. My orchestra colleagues are the most amazing teachers. We mentor each other all throughout the year. I don't think you could find four other people who work together and collaborate as well as we do!”

Mrs. Johnson, an Ithaca College and Virginia Commonwealth University alumna, has taught strings for 20 years, including the past six at LMS and PHHS. She said her favorite part of her job is “making beautiful music every day and watching my students grow as musicians from 6th grade all the way to 12th grade.”

In addition to this recognition, earlier this year, Mrs. Johnson received the Superintendent's Professional Development Scholarship from the Hanover Education Foundation.

Ms. Lucretia Davis, who nominated Mrs. Johnson for the distinguished recognition, described her as a “top-notch educator” in her nomination.

“Jennifer Johnson is an incredible music educator. She is a National Board Certified Teacher and served as my mentor in the process over the last two years in Hanover County. She gave freely of her own time as I navigated the very stressful and time-consuming process of trying to achieve certification. Her dedication to help other educators is to be commended,” she said.

Mrs. Johnson’s two principals also applauded her for dedication to the profession.

“Mrs. Johnson loves working with our students and helping them grow into amazing musicians. She is dedicated and passionate about creating opportunities to build students’ love for music! Our school community is lucky to have her working with our students,” said PHHS Principal Mr. Chris Martinez.

Said LMS Principal Ms. Sherry Lycett: “Mrs. Johnson is a National Board Certified Teacher who is committed to excellence in her instruction. She strives to help each student in the orchestra perform to a high level making her concerts an amazing experience for all.”

VASTA is the professional organization for strings teachers from across Virginia.
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