CEC’s Schenbeck Teacher of the Year

by reBeCCA LeFtWiCH

Dr. Lyn Schenbeck, a music instructor at Central Educational Center, is the Coweta County School System's 2013 Teacher of the Year.

"Who is this happening to?" said a stunned Schenbeck after accepting the award from Harry Mullins, vice chairman of the Coweta County Board of Education, during a Monday ceremony at the Centre for the Performing and Visual Arts.

Schenbeck began her teaching career in 1973, teaching music therapy at Sellinsgrove State School and Hospital in Pennsylvania. She has taught at every level from preschool to adult, and some of her more well-known students include Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland and Matt Still, chief engineer and producer for Elton John.

In 2006, Schenbeck joined the Coweta County School System to teach string techniques, chorus and general music classes at Smokey Road Middle School. In 2008, she transferred to CEC, where she teaches Business of the Arts, Music in Medicine, String Techniques, Commercial Vocal Styles and Music in Film and Video classes.

As a young teen, Schenbeck embarked on a career as a professional singer and actress in New York. She decided to pursue education as a career in college because "then, as now, teaching gave me a greater sense of accomplishment," she wrote in her Teacher of the Year essay.

Schenbeck holds bachelor and master's degrees in music education with vocal performance and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting. In addition to a multitude of professional organizations on the state and national level, she is a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the group responsible for the Grammy Awards.

During her pre-announcement speech, Schenbeck urged fellow educators to build trust with their students through authenticity by admitting their own mistakes, being non-judgmental and distinguishing between a student and his mistakes.

"We touch every life every day," Schenbeck said. "The smallest bit of encouragement can make the biggest difference in a student's life, so give it freely." Schenbeck was one of three finalists for the award selected by last year's class of school and county-level Coweta Teachers of the Year. Other finalists were Donna Hightower, resource teacher at Thomas Crossroads Elementary School, and Randy Robbins, 11th grade literature teacher at East Coweta High School.

The Coweta County Board of Education and the Newnan Pilot Club co-sponsor the annual ceremony honoring outstanding educators, who are chosen to represent their schools by fellow teachers.

Teachers of the Year are chosen each year from among certified classroom teachers in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, including special education, physical education, art, music, and media specialists. They are selected by their peers for the quality of their instruction, professional development, teaching philosophies and methods, community involvement, contributions to education, and their ability to inspire students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn.



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