Keystone Instrumental Music Teacher Brett Benzin received the prestigious Ohio Music Education Association’s (OMEA) Outstanding Young Music Educator Award. This recognition is awarded annually to young educators who are committed to excellence in music education and deserving of statewide acknowledgment.
The award is designed for music educators active in the teaching field for three to eight years who show outstanding dedication to their craft and their students. Educators are nominated by fellow OMEA members. Nominees are selected based on a variety of criteria:
• Contribution of personal effort and time beyond the normal teaching duties in promoting music education and the arts in his/her school system, community, region, or state
• Demonstration of the principles and characteristics of an outstanding music educator and promise for sustaining contributions for educational leadership
• Achievement of excellence in music-making
• Impact on student learning and development
• Attainment of professional growth and involvement
Benzin has been active in the field for the past eight years. After earning his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Bowling Green State University, Benzin taught for four years at Tinora High School in Defiance, Ohio and then joined the Keystone staff for the past four years.
Benzin was nominated for this award by fellow OMEA member Adam Landry, a colleague and friend of Benzin’s for the last twelve years. Landry currently serves as the Director of Choirs at Mentor High School and is also the Assistant Director of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Chorus.
Expressing his love of teaching, Benzin states, “Each and every day I get the opportunity to share the gift of music with my students. In addition to working toward performing music at a high caliber, I love providing an inclusive and healthy environment for all students to be welcome. Music is the universal language, and I am excited to give students an expressing outlet in their performances. The quote: ‘Do what you love, and you don't have to work a day in your life’ certainly holds true for me!”
Of working at Keystone and earning this award, he adds, “The Keystone students and families I work with daily are the best parts of my job. I truly believe I have the best job in our district because of that! It is incredible to also have a supportive colleague in Mrs. Bethany Pearce, and in our entire administration. These things mean the world and I am lucky to have the situation that I am in!”
“This award is an incredible honor to receive. I am very active in our state organization, and to be nominated and supported by colleagues who I have great respect for means the world. It is a truly humbling experience to win an award that is recognized by the state, but I am most excited to continue to work in the profession I love for the rest of my life!” Congratulations Mr. Benzin. This recognition is well-deserved.