Congratulations are in order for Ms. Amanda Yeoman who is being recognized by The Genesis Group, a civic and community organization dedicated to adaptive leadership to meet new challenges and to create a positive and transformational impact in the Mohawk Valley region. Each year The Genesis Group recognizes Central New York educators and programs who are making a different in the quality of life in the Mohawk Valley region. Ms. Yeoman will be presented with an award by The Genesis Group, on Thursday, November 17th. Below is information that was presented on Ms. Yeoman’s nomination form:
Amanda is a music educator who helps to cultivate not only a love of music but fun and community in her classroom and in the school. Since coming to Morrisville-Eaton, Amanda has created a music program that engages students and expands how they see music. She is an out of box thinker who makes the learning fun and engaging for the students. Amanda was one of the first local teachers to introduce ukuleles. She adapted a ukulele and equipment so that a child with arm differences was able to fully participate in both class and the annual grade-level concerts. She has students bounce basketballs as a way of understanding rhythm. Amanda’s classes imbed not only direct instruction but also student collaboration, movement, and producing music through singing, of course, but also through playing instruments in each class. Amanda deftly creates lessons like this for Kindergarten through fifth grade students every day.
Amanda has worked to greatly expand the musical instruments and supplies in the school through DonorsChoose. A partial list of what she has gotten for MECS:
- Expanding Our Sound With E and B Bass Bars
- Bass Bars in General Music
- Alto Xylophone
- Supplies to Make Individual Music Kits
- Breeze Easy Band Method Books
- Donation for Band Instruments for Young Musicians
Amanda has developed opportunities for teacher involvement as well as student-teacher interaction. This has created a school-wide enthusiasm for the music program. Staff members displayed pictures showing what instrument they played. Teachers have performed various concerts with ukuleles, classroom supplies, or instruments that they played as students. Amanda created programs where students were paired with teachers to instruct the teachers on playing an instrument. These are not only fun, but show students that music is a lifelong endeavor.
Amanda continued to engage students throughout the pandemic. Due to space demands, Amanda had to teach for two years in the Character Café (cafeteria). Despite COVID, she provided virtual chorus and band instruction to students, as well as in-person lessons and general music.
Amanda’s engagement with students is evident in their willingness to get involved outside of the classroom. Last year she had 99% of fourth graders in band. Her numbers in band and chorus have steadily increased each year since 2017-18. She is willing to adjust her daily schedule to ensure that students are able to have band and chorus without having to give up other activities. Students willingly come to school an hour early to participate.
Annually, there are two in-person concerts for both in school and evening performances. In addition, she oversees the musical theater club and presented Willy Wonka last year. It was a sensational hit!
Amanda is engaged in leadership activities in the school. She is a member of various PLCs/Committees and contributes greatly to their success. She goes above and beyond, for example creating the Character Education videos and leading other initiatives.
As further evidence of Amanda’s influence spreading throughout the entire district, Morrisville-Eaton has been awarded as one of the Best Communities for Music Education for three years in a row by The NAMM Foundation. This national recognition is awarded to school districts for outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students, and community leaders for their support for music education as part of a well-rounded educational for all children.
Amanda shares her love of music in the community as well. She is involved in organizations outside of school including her church and the Oneida Chorale.
Thanks goes out to Ms. Amanda Yeoman for all of her contributions Morrisville-Eaton CSD. Congratulations on this recognition!