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Regional Teacher of the Year Awards for UW Music alumni Matt Brown, Ethan Chessain

Submitted by Joanne De Pue on January 15, 2019 - 12:58pm
Music Ed alumnus Matt Brown
Music Ed alum Matt Brown.
Ethan Chessain
Music Edu alum Ethan Chessain.

The North Central Educational Service District has named School of Music alumnus Matthew Brown (’05 BA/BM Music Education) its Regional Teacher of the Year for 2019.

A music teacher in the Manson School District in Manson, Washington since 2005, Brown works with 90 percent of the middle school students and more than a third of the high school students at Manson Middle and High Schools, which enroll around 300 students in grades 6 through 12.

During his time in the district, Brown has taught choir in grades 7-12, band in grades 5-12, jazz band, drumline, and a guitar/piano course as well as leading the Okanogan Valley Orchestra, a local community orchestra.

“He is someone who brings a lot of energy and passion to the classroom and to his students,” says Don Vanderholm, principal at Manson Middle and High Schools. “He continually looks for ways he can improve how he works with kids and how he can make their experience a better one. He is someone who cares about each individual student a great deal.”

Brown was honored in September during an awards program at Seattle’s Museum of Popular Culture, hosted by the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Brown’s recognition comes on the heels of similar honors for School of Music alumnus Ethan Chessain (’11 MA Music Education), named 2018 Regional Teacher of the Year for Educational Service District 112, which includes the Camas School District. A music teacher at Camas High School, Chessain has increased enrollment in the choir from 45 students to more than 200, and has expanded the Camas music department, adding four choirs, songwriting and piano classes, and a student orchestra.

“It is wonderful to hear of the recent recognition these outstanding UW Music Education alumni have earned,” says School of Music director Richard Karpen. “It is no surprise to discover they are using the knowledge and skills they gained at the UW to great impact in the classroom.”