Schenbeck finalist for Ga. Teacher of the Year
by Celia Shortt
Georgia School Superintendent Dr. John Barge announced the 10 finalists for Georgia’s 2014 Teacher of the Year Monday, with Coweta County teacher Dr. Lyn Schenbeck among them.
“It’s a great honor to represent the county,” said Schenbeck. “I love being able to represent a school system and a county that I really love and respect.”
Schenbeck is director of arts at Central Educational Center and is Coweta’s 2013 Teacher of the Year. She has been teaching for more than 40 years.
Currently, Schenbeck teaches five classes at CEC and directs internships in the arts. She is also a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the group responsible for the Grammy Awards.
Schenbeck has been involved with music since she began playing the violin at age 5 and piano at age 7. She performed professionally in New York at age 13.
“When I was in college, my professors tried to convince me to concentrate on performing,” she said. “But then, as now, teaching gave me a greater sense of accomplishment.”
Of being named a finalist, Schenbeck hopes it will allow her to share with others about CEC and the opportunities it has for students. “It’s going to help me get CEC’s message out, which is important,” she said. “If education keeps moving toward career placement, I think we’ll have more students content with the work they do. Contentment with what they do is important. When students get out of high school, you want them to have more of a direction.”
She is also excited about being able to share about the arts through this experience.
“I get to talk about art, and its impact on everything,” she said. “One of the beauties of art is it is holistic. It teaches self-discipline, but it also goes to the soul. Music for the sake of music is not as important as music for the sake of people.”
Before coming to Coweta County in 2006, Schenbeck taught and coordinated music-industry internships at Georgia State University, taught and conducted at Agnes Scott College, and was the director of career development at LaGrange College.
Some of her more well-known students include Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland and Matt Still, chief engineer and producer for Elton John.
Professionally, Schenbeck has conducted orchestras and choirs across the United States and the eastern part of Europe, as well as 30 musicals and operas.
Even with all her accomplishments, teaching is what she enjoys most.
“A lot of people use this award to jump into administration,” she said. “I have no plans to do that. I admire what other administrators do. But the world of kids is the world for me, not the world of administration.”
In addition to teaching at CEC, Schenbeck is also the creator and director of Centre Strings, a community string orchestra in Coweta.
Schenbeck holds a bachelor of science and master of science degrees in music education with vocal performance plus a doctor of musical arts in conducting. She has also completed coursework for an undergraduate degree in music therapy.
This year’s Georgia Teacher of the Year finalists were chosen by a panel of judges that included current and former classroom teachers, past Georgia Teacher of the Year winners and finalists, administrators, community leaders and others. Over the next several weeks, a panel of judges will conduct video observations and interview each of the finalists. The finalists will also give a speech at a luncheon sponsored by Georgia Power.
The other finalists for Georgia’s 2015 Teacher of the Year announced on Monday are:
• Rita L. Simmons, Gifted K-5, Atlanta Public Schools, Cleveland Avenue Elementary.
• Rhonda Lokey, Sixth Grade Social Studies, Cobb County, Campbell Middle.
• Michelle Peace, Spanish I, II, III, Early County, Early County High.
• Sarah Ballew Welch, English, Oral/Written Communications and British Literature, Fannin County, Fannin County High.
• Nick C. Crowder, Engineering Education, Forsyth County, South Forsyth High.
• Hyunjin Son, Physics and Foundations of Engineering & Technology, Gwinnett County, Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology.
• Paul D. Mixon, Journalism and Economics, Heard County, Heard County High.
• Amanda Miliner, Fourth Grade, Houston County, Miller Elementary.
• Marc Pedersen, Biology, Biotechnology and Chemistry, Paulding County, Paulding County High.
The 2015 Teacher of the Year for the state of Georgia will be announced at the Georgia Teacher of the Year conference on May 16 at the Georgia International Convention Center. The winner will also be entered in the National Teacher of the Year competition.
Three Coweta County School System teachers have been named state teachers of the year, including Lorraine Johnson, Nancy Royal and Jamie Lipscomb. There have also been 14 Georgia TOTY semi-finalists from Coweta since 1986. Smokey Road Middle School teacher Clay Hildebrand was named a finalist for the honor in 2008.