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2024 Awards for Excellence Award Recipients 

The 2024 MMEA Awards for Excellence Awards Ceremony will occur at the MMEA Annual State Conference on Saturday, February 24, 2024 at 5:30 PM in room 301-303 of the Baltimore Convention Center.


Anne Binkley

Anne Binkley.jpg

Anne Binkley began teaching music in 1997. While raising seven children, she taught in private schools and a conservatory and began teaching voice for Salisbury University as an adjunct faculty member in 2003. In 2019, Anne earned an MAT in music teacher education from Salisbury University and was hired to teach third- and fourth-grade general music at  Ocean City Elementary School. Anne recently earned a Doctor of Music Education degree from Liberty University.

Kirsten Chalk

Kirsten Chalk is the vocal music teacher at Deer Park Elementary School in Baltimore County. In addition to teaching at Deer Park, she has served in several roles at the county level; chair of the BCPS Elementary Choral and Recorder Festival for many years and curriculum writer for both elementary and middle school general music. Mrs. Chalk has been recognized as Deer Park Elementary School’s Teacher of the Year twice and she achieved National Board Certification in 2023.

Christopher Cicconi

Dr. Christopher Cicconi is Director of Bands and Orchestra and Associate Professor of Music at Towson University. There, he directs the Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, and teaches courses in conducting and instrumental music education. Dr. Cicconi is also the principal conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestra, on the conducting staff of the United States Naval Academy, and serves as the music director for the Towson Wind Symphony.

Carolyn Herman

Carolyn Herman has taught Instrumental music at Thomas S. Wootton High School for 20 years and spent her entire 30 year career in MCPS.  Wootton’s Orchestra has grown from one small orchestra to 3 orchestras organized by ability.  Mrs. Herman’s top orchestra has performed at many MMEA and All Eastern conferences as well as the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic.  Carolyn also volunteers to promote music education by working as the Manager of the All State Orchestra and as a member of MCMEA.

Mark Lortz

Mark Lortz is the Director of Music at Stevenson University, has a Music Education Ph.D. from Temple University, and has degrees from the Peabody Institute. His compositions have been performed internationally and are acknowledged by ASCAP. Additionally, he works as the brass arranger for Reading Buccaneers Drum and Bugle Corps, collaborates with military ensembles and the Baltimore Ravens Marching Band, conducts honor bands, and has toured with The Dallas Brass and Phantom of the Opera musical.

Amy Vanek

Amy Vanek has been a choral music educator since 2005. She has directed the choirs of Bethesda Chevy Chase HS, Clarksburg HS, and the International School of Qingdao, China. 
Amy has served the music education community as curriculum specialist for Montgomery County Schools, the director of the Montgomery County Youth Chorus, and as  adjudicator, presenter and a clinician in Maryland and Virginia. She is incredibly honored and grateful for this award.


Amanda Shanks

Amanda Shanks, principal of Dumbarton Middle School, has been a teacher and leader in Baltimore County Public Schools for 25 years. A former English teacher, she holds a Master of Education from Loyola College and a Bachelor’s degree from Towson University. An advocate for safe, supportive learning spaces and student voice and opportunity at school and in the community, she was selected by students as the Baltimore County Student Councils Principal of the Year in 2023. 

Christina Welch

Christina Welch has been with Worcester County for the past 36 years as teacher, Judy Center Director, and administrator.  For the past 12 years, she has served as principal of Snow Hill Middle School and most recently, Buckingham Elementary School.  The arts, in particular Music, has been a priority within her leadership vision throughout her entire career. Dr. Welch believes that to meet the needs of the whole child, music is an integral component of a highly effective instructional program. 


Lionel Harrell

Lionel Harrell is a Prince George’s County native and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from Bowie State University and a Masters of Science Degree in Administration and Supervision from Coppin State University. In his 11th year as PGCPS Instrumental Music Supervisor, Mr. Harrell has worked to advance equity and access in music by implementing various strategies and forming a culture promoting music education and performance. 


Paul Hatton

Paul Hatton has devoted 24 years to PGCPS as a teacher and arts administrator, with Teacher of the Year nominations in 2009 and 2014, and a 2005 JFMF recipient. His bands' MMEA and White House performances highlight his commitment to music education. He's the creator of, widely-used instrument fingering trainers, and is an active adjudicator. When not working, he enjoys puzzles, fossil hunting, his daughter Tess, husband Woody, cats Tako and Pixel, and goose Sprinkles.

Lisa Schultze

Lisa Schultze teaches Instrumental Music at Logan ES and Seven Oaks ES in Baltimore County. She earned degrees from Towson University and Johns Hopkins University. During 28 years in Baltimore County, she has taught elementary, middle, and high school music. Currently, she teaches band, orchestra, and Exploratory Music. Lisa is a Past President of the Maryland Band Directors Association, Tuba Christmas Baltimore Coordinator, and active in events in Baltimore County and throughout Maryland.


Angela Adams

Angela Adams has been the choral director at Old Mill High School since 2016. Previously, she taught 5 years in middle school and 13 years in elementary school. She holds a BM in Music Education from Westminster Choir College, a MM in Voice from Florida State University, and MS in Education from Walden University. Angela is a National Board Recertified teacher and has written curriculum for AACPS, the BSO, and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum.

TC O'Brien

Mrs. TC O’Brien received her Bachelor’s and Master’s in Music Education from the University of Maryland, College Park.  She taught middle and high school choral music for 30 years and retired from Charles County Public Schools in 2017.  From 2017-2021 TC served as Artistic Director of St. Maries Choral Arts. TC’s vision of ensembles who inspire hope through outstanding performance and action, came to life in 2023 as she founded a new music nonprofit in Southern Maryland: Hope in Harmony.


Matt Sallee

Matt Sallee is a native of Maryland, having been raised in Baltimore and attended school in Charles County. He gained admission into the world-renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston and joined award-winning acapella sensation Pitch Slapped. In 2017, Matt was selected by Pentatonix as their second bass singer. To learn more about Matt, visit the MMEA website. 



MMEA/NAfME current members OR school administrators can award candidates by completing the online nomination form. All forms must be filled out completely in order to be considered.


The Awards Committee will serve as judges to review the nominations and select the eligible candidates.  Awards recipients will be contacted via email once the review process is complete.

Awards may be given annually, however, if there are not sufficient candidates, some categories may not be awarded.




Awards will be presented annually at an Awards Reception on the Saturday evening of the Annual State Conference (specific day/time TBA).  A letter of distinction will be sent to the appropriate administrator for the award recipient’s personnel file (if applicable).  Recognition of the recipients will be included on the MMEA website homepage, the awards webpage, MMEA social media sites (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn), in emails to the members, district supervisors, and other stakeholders.



August - Information updated on Website & Forms Open

September 5 - MMEA Nominations Open

December 6 - MMEA Awards Nominations Close

December  8 to 15 - Committee Review

December 18 - Awards Decided 

December 20 - Awardees notified - Gather Information 

January - Awardees Announced

February 24 - Awards Ceremony @ Conference 



All nomination forms are linked at the end of the descriptions.


Outstanding Music Educator

Award Description

This award recognizes and honors music educators for their outstanding service to the music students in public, private, or independent schools in the State of Maryland.


This award will be given in three categories:  

Career - a tenured educator with six or more years of teaching experience

New - an educator with one to five years of teaching experience

Retired -  an educator who has retired from teaching music


Note: Membership is not required for administrators wishing to nominate their colleagues. Membership IS required for educators wishing to self-nominate or nominate a colleague. 


Nominee Qualifications

  1. Must be an MMEA/NAfME Member at the time of nomination

  2. Must be a Maryland music educator who has taught a minimum of six years (career teacher) or one year (new teacher). 


Leadership Criteria

  1. Consistently produces/produced music groups of high-performance level. 

  2. Consistently performs/performed programs of high musical quality. 

  3. Has made an outstanding contribution to the community and to the state through music. 

  4. Has made outstanding contributions to the improvement of music groups in Maryland through participation and leadership in professional organizations. 

  5. Must have had student participation in honors performing groups such as All County or All State groups when appropriate. 

  6. Has hosted student teachers, meetings, festivals and/or presented workshops, clinics, adjudicated or guest conducted ensemble groups. 

  7. Has written articles for various music journals and/or participated in curriculum work. 

  8. Maintains/maintained contact with feeder schools where applicable and encourages students to continue their music education. 


Professional Growth Criteria

  1. Continues to improve knowledge by enrolling in education courses for advanced degrees by attending workshops, in-service programs, clinics etc.

  2. Has been recognized by area organizations, school PTA or community groups.


Human Relations Criteria

  1. Demonstrates/demonstrated a caring attitude toward students and serves as an excellent role model. 

  2. Has received letters in their personnel file from students, colleagues, parents, and/or supervisor/administrator relating to contributions to the growth of students. 

  3. Demonstrates/demonstrated the ability to inspire students to learn. 

  4. Encourages and helps students to build self-esteem and confidence. 

  5. Works cooperatively with total school staff, parents, and community. 

  6. Encourages diversity, equity, inclusion, and access (DEIA) in their teaching.

  7. Demonstrates performance above and beyond the call of duty. 


Outstanding School Administrator

Award Description

This award is to recognize non-arts administrators who are music advocates and supporters, working with the music team to build incredible music programs for their schools and communities. 


Note: Membership is not required for administrators wishing to nominate their colleagues. Membership IS required for educators wishing to self-nominate or nominate a colleague. 


Nominee Qualifications

An elementary or secondary principal, school administrator, or school system supervisor or superintendent.


Nomination Criteria

  1. Increased time allotment for students in the music programs.

  2. Expansion of the music program in the school/district as a result of the administrator’s efforts.

  3. Student or school recognition or awards for achievement in music.

  4. Advocating for music and arts education in the school and community.

  5. Financial commitment to the music programs in the school or district.

  6. Encourages diversity, equity, inclusion, and access (DEIA) in their school and community.

  7. Strong leadership, good school management, and good rapport with educators, parents, and students.


MMEA Exemplary Music Program Award

Award Description

This award is to recognize outstanding music programs. 


Nominee Qualifications

Any public, private or independent school in the State of Maryland that has not received this award in the past five years. The music educator in charge of this program must be a member of MMEA/NAfME.


Nomination Criteria

  1. Outstanding curriculum, program goals & objectives, unique materials & teaching strategies.

  2. Strong student participation in music programs and honor ensembles.

  3. Innovative teaching strategies and materials

  4. Support for the music program on the part of the local administration and/or the board of education.

  5. Exemplifies diversity, equity, inclusion, and access (DEIA) in their school and community?

  6. Community involvement and support, such as: number of students involved in community musical organizations, parental involvement, and community recognition

The Corwin Taylor Music Education Leadership Award

Award Description

This award is to recognize an individual who has made a significant contribution to the music education of Maryland’s youth. The Corwin Taylor Music Education Leadership Award was established in 1993 in memory of Dr. Corwin H. Taylor (1905-1992), noted musician, composer, author, and educator. Dr. Taylor, an active member of the Music Educators National Conference (now National Association for Music Education, NAfME) and the Maryland Music Educators Association, was Supervisor of Instrumental Music for the Baltimore Public School system from 1945 to 1968 and a faculty member at the University of Maryland at College Park from 1968 to 1976.


Nominee Qualifications

A teacher, administrator, parent, industry representative, or performer in Maryland. Membership in MMEA/NAfME is encouraged but not required.


Nomination Criteria

  1. Demonstrated connection to music education in Maryland.

  2. Significant contributions to the music education of Maryland’s youth.


The Rosemary and James Walters Award for Service

Award Description

This award is to recognize an individual who has made a significant contribution to the Maryland Music Educators Association. The Rosemary and James Walters Award for Service to the Maryland Music Educators Association was established in 2001 in memory of Rosemary and James Walters. Their teaching careers were in Maryland, spanning 30 years until a tragic accident in April 2001. Jim taught instrumental music, most recently at Francis Scott Key Middle School in Montgomery County while Rosemary taught choral music. Together, they characterized the essence of supporting the music education profession. They supported their colleagues, young and seasoned, and they supported every professional activity of the association and the school music community. Jim served as MBDA president, but his contribution was not limited to band activities. Rosemary eventually left the classroom to work full time in church music, but her involvement as a substitute music teacher and as an accompanist continued. At nearly any MMEA event, it was typical to see Jim and Rosemary offering to assist when they were not “on duty,” doing whatever needed to be done.


Nominee Qualifications

Must have volunteered for MMEA in the capacity of an Executive Board Member, Component Board Member, adjudicator, ensemble manager, chaperone or other volunteer position. Membership in MMEA/NAfME is encouraged but not required.



MMEA Hall of Fame

Award Description

This award is to recognize an individual for excellence in teaching and/or administration, contributions and improvements made in music education, betterment of the profession through exemplary service or acts, professional offices, publications, awards, recognition, performances, and professional ideals and academic integrity.


Nominee Qualifications

  1. A teacher or administrator in Maryland who displayed excellence and dedication in teaching or administration over the course of their career.  

  2. The Nominee must be a member of MMEA/NAfME at the time of nomination.  If the nominee is retired or deceased, they must have been a member while teaching.




Outstanding Music Educator Award (new/career/retired)

School Administrator Award (non-arts administrator)

MMEA/NAfME Exemplary Music Program Award 

The Corwin Taylor Music Education Award

The Rosemary and James Walters Award for Service

MMEA Hall Of Fame



Link to scoring rubric

Previous Award Recipients

Outstanding Music Educator*



Laura Allison, Ridge Ruxton School, Baltimore County

Elizabeth Babylon, Sudlersville Middle School, Queen Anne's County

Malcolm Bratcher Jr., Pocomoke Elementary School, Worcester County

Susan Eckerle, Thomas S. Wootton High School, Montgomery County

Lauren Walker, Broadneck High School, Anne Arundel County

Grace White, Colgate Elementary School, Baltimore County

John Wixted, Mardela Middle and High School, Wicomico County


Kellie Harvey, Fruitland Primary School, Wicomico County 


Angelica Brooks, Bowie High School, Prince George’s County 

James Dorsey, Vansville Elementary School, Prince George’s County

Theresa Iacarino, Cromwell Valley Elementary School, Baltimore County

Stephanie Mayer-Sattin, Bullis School, Montgomery County

Andrea Cameron, Robert Frost Middle School, Montgomery County
Carol Cox, Bodkin Elementary School, Anne Arundel County
Jana Davis Hobbs, Wicomico High School, Wicomico County
Allen Kessell, Franklin High School, Baltimore County


Sarah Burton, North Salisbury Elementary School, Bennett Middle School, Parkside High School, James M. Bennett High School, Wicomico County
Emily James, South Shore Elementary School, Anne Arundel County
Randine Levy, Roberto Clemente Middle School, Montgomery County
David Matchim, Centennial High School, Howard County
Lisa Adams, Berlin Intermediate School, Worcester County


Kenneth Dasher, Pittsville Elementary and Middle School, Wicomico County
Paul Heinemann, Rocky Hill Middle School, Montgomery County
Anne Marie Patterson, Theodore Davis  Middle School, Charles County
Thomas K. Pierre, Jr., Glassmanor Elementary School, Prince Georges County
James Woomert, Atholton High School, Howard County


Shannon Day
Lewis Dutrow
Doug Miles
Lynn Staininger

Outstanding School Administrator*


Lynnette Moore, Mount View Middle School, Howard County 

Rob Watkins, Sudlersville Middle School, Queen Anne's County


Karla Steinbach, Meade Middle School, Anne Arundel County


Liza Hastings, Mardela Middle and High School, Wicomico County

Martin Tierney, Runnymeade Elementary School, Carroll County 


John Taylor, Cabin John Middle School, Montgomery County


Matthew Record, Pocomoke Middle School, Worcester County


Jazmin G. Lawhorn, Crofton Elementary School, Anne Arundel County


Chris Rattay

MMEA Exemplary Music Program*

2020 - Eleanor Roosevelt High School, Prince George's County
2018 - Homestead-Wakefield Elementary School, Harford County
2017 - Ellicott Mills Middle School, Howard County


The Corwin Taylor Music Education Leadership Award

2023 - Dara Case

2022 - David Kauffman

2021 - Christopher Cicconi,

Sybil Roseboro

2020 – Todd J. Burroughs

2019 – Scott Herman

2018 – Michael L. Mark

2017 – Anita Lambert

2013 – Nancy S. Grasmick

2012 – C. Nelson Fritts

2011 – Richard J. Deasy

2010 – Katherine A. Rodeffer

2009 – Joan Orcutt

2005 – Linda Patton

2004 – Chris Tuel

2002 – Mary Ellen Cohn

1999 – Barbara F. King

1998 – Phyllis T. Kaplan

1998 – Roger J. Folstrom

1997 – James L. Tucker, Jr.

1996 – Mary Ann Mears

1995 – Rosa Fletcher Crocker

1994 – Karen Douglas

The Rosemary & James Walters Award for Service

2020 - Janet Gross

2017 – Ginny Flynn

2015 – Sally Wagner

2014 – James L. Turk

2013 – Jan Strevig

2012 – Deborah Turner

2011 – Howard L. Miskimon

2011 – Sabra C. Steward

2010 – Mabel Leonore Sawhill

2004 – Richard A. Disharoon

2003 – Chrystie L. Adams

2002 – Thomas W. Fugate

MMEA Hall of Fame

2023 -- Melvin Miles, Jr., Jim Wharton

2020 -- Charles Haslup (Posthumous)

2019 – Chris Vadala (Posthumous)

2018 – Gilbert A. Brungardt (Posthumous)

2014 – Dana Rothlisberger

2013 – Ray Danner

2012 – Cherie Stellaccio

2012 – C. Scott Sharnetzka

2011 – Lee Stevens

2010 – Bruce D. Wilson

2009 – Leone Y. Woodall

2008 – Richard A. Disharoon

2008 – James L. Tucker, Jr.

2007 – Olivia W. Gutoff

2006 – Mary Ellen Cohn

2006 – John Wakefield

2005 – Barbara F. King

2005 – Michael L. Mark

2004 – Roger J. Folstrom

2004 – Phyllis R. Kaplan

2003 – Leroy Battle

2003 – Glenn Patterson

2000 – Mildred B. Trevvett

1999 – Nancy M. Cook

1999 – Sr. Mary Theresine Staub S.S.N.D.

1998 – Maurice R. Feldman

1997 – Clarence T. Rogers

1996 – James H. Avampato

1996 – Carmelo J. Palazzo

1995 – David Marchand

1995 – W. Warren Sprouse

1994 – Shirley J. Shelley

1994 – Donald Regier

1994 – Mildred R. Reiner

1995 – David Marchand

1995 – W. Warren Sprouse

1994 – Shirley J. Shelley

1994 – Donald Regier

1994 – Mildred R. Reiner

1993 – Thomas W. Fugate

1993 – C. William Johnson

1993 – Michael Pastelak

1992 – Blanche F. Bowlsbey

1992 – Joseph F. Chalker

1992 – James L. Fisher

1991 – John Fignar, Jr.

1990 – Robert E. Kersey

1990 – Dorothy S. Pickard

1989 – Alice S. Beer

1989 – Thomas R. Lawrence

1989 – Corwin H. Taylor

1988 – Margaret Black
1988 – Robert S. Bolles
1988 – David Burchuck
1988 – Frances Jackman Civis
1988 – John Cole
1988 – Mary G. Cross
1988 – John Denues
1988 – Nicholas Geriak
1988 – Thomas L. Gibson
1988 – Rose Marie Grentzer
1988 – S. Fenton Harris
1988 – Miriam Hoffman
1988 – Mary M. Hunter
1988 – John Itzel
1988 – Henrietta Baker Low
1988 – Otto Ortmann
1988 – Philip S. Royer
1988 – Osmar Steinwald
1988 – Charles C. T. Stull
1988 – Eugene W. Troth
1988 – Homer Ulrich
1988 – C. James Velie
1988 – Levi Wilder
1988 – Dorothy Willison
1988 – William Llewelyn Wilson

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