CAMDEN —Preble Shawnee K-6 General Music Teacher Cody McPherson has been named OMEA (Ohio Music Education Association) 2020 Outstanding Young Music Educator of the Year.
Amy Annico, Director of Media and Publications from OMEA, presented McPherson with the exciting news in front of his students during an assembly on Thursday, Dec. 19.
McPherson will be recognized by OMEA during its conference on Jan. 30.
He was actually nominated for the award last year by Band Director David Lewis, but OMEA holds nominations for consideration for two years, which made receiving the award a true surprise. Camden Primary School students gathered quietly in the gym and McPherson was brought down following, where he was notified of the good news.
According to OMEA, the purpose of this award is to recognize and honor an OMEA member for excellence in music education who has been teaching between three and eight years. The nominee should contribute personal effort and time beyond the normal teaching duties in promoting music education and the arts in his/her school system, community, region, and/or state. The nominee should demonstrate a love for music and students and outstanding dedication to their field.
“I’ve tried to make it my number one goal to inspire the students and community to love and appreciate music, helping them be creative, and eventually a positive contribution to society,” he said. “I started out here almost five years ago. We did a transition, a program that is heavily vocal based, but we added a lot of ORFF Instruments and began to do several instrumental exercises through curricular ensembles to give the students that side of music as well.
“The community has really responded well to that. They’ve really taken that in and enjoyed having the ensembles. I do a couple percussion based ensembles with those instruments and they’ve really enjoyed those. We publicly perform frequently, we do several concerts throughout the year. We’ve gone traveling, we’ve gone to retired teacher’s luncheons for Preble County.
“We were also recipients of a 2018 award when we were a performing ensemble. We were one of 22 groups in Ohio selected to go to the actual OMEA Conference that year and perform for other educators. I’ve really made it my mission to build those relationships and I try to connect with students and families through constant communication. I think all of that was noticed by David [Lewis] who nominated me and then the panel reviewed everything, there were letters written by the community members.”
“We are so proud of the work Cody McPherson does each and every day with our students,” Superintendent Matt Bishop said. “He goes above and beyond to provide a great experience in his music classes. The performances that Cody and the kids put on are top notch. He applies for grants each year to add to the variety of instruments used by students and is a great team player and works cooperatively with the staff of both Camden and West Elkton buildings. We are lucky he is part of Arrow Country.”
For McPherson, it is an honor to be recognized by OMEA, however, the highlight was being recognized in front of his students and being able to show them the outcome of hard work and dedication.
“I was shocked when I heard the announcement — completely humbled and honored by it. I’m proud that I’m able to represent Preble Shawnee in this positive way,” he said. “Being recognized by the state is great, but when you feel that love and support from your own people, there’s really nothing like it. To see the staff, students, and administrators all showing me their appreciation and support meant a lot.
“I want them to know how much I appreciate them too, because I couldn’t do my job without their support. It was special to see the amount of time they prepared to give me a really nice surprise ceremony. I really appreciated it. I’m so blessed to work at Preble Shawnee and I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else. I want my students to know I’m here for them, to give them the best they deserve. I’m going to keep doing that as long as I’m here, which I hope is a really long time.”
OMEA has invited McPherson to their official conference in January of 2020, where he will be presented with his award and recognized in front of his fellow music educators.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH