LAPS District Band. Courtesy/LAPS
LAMS Jazz Band. Courtesy/LAPS
The New Mexico Music Educators Association (NMMEA) Executive Board has awarded the Los Alamos Public Schools the 2019 School District Award of Distinction and in addition, Chamisa Music Teacher Kim LeTellier received the Dr. John Batcheller Elementary Award for excellence in music education at the elementary level.
The Award of Distinction is given by the NMMEA in recognition of school districts that are outstanding leaders in support of music in their schools. A tradition of outstanding music education has been a part of LAPS since its inception in 1943. Students and faculty alike have benefited throughout the years from LAPS’s ongoing support for music education. One example of this is through the continuing education program. Recently, multiple music teachers have completed their master’s degrees through the financial support of LAPS.
Chamisa Music Teacher Kim LeTellier
Another standout fact is that Los Alamos is consistently selected to host NMMEA events, such as Music Performance Adjudications, Honor Clinics, and Solo & Ensemble events. Administrators at school sites make a continued effort to make these events possible.
Within the NMMEA, the music faculty of LAPS is consistent in their willingness to assist other programs and directors in North Central New Mexico, which is made possible by LAPS providing professional leave and substitute pay whenever a LAPS music faculty member is needed to help elsewhere in the state.
According to NMMEA Executive Director Don Gerheart, LAPS will be receiving a traveling trophy at the awards luncheon Jan. 11, 2019 during the NMMEA Conference.
LeTellier, who just finished her 18th year with LAPS, received the Dr. John M. Batcheller award for her immense contribution to elementary general music education in the State of New Mexico. LeTellier teaches music to all K-6 students at Chamisa and conducts two band ensembles. She also founded and directs the “Chamisa Sing-Sations” and the hand chime group called the “Chamisa Chime-Ringers.”
Beyond the classroom, LeTellier has served the district for the past 16 years as the District Music Team Lead. In addition, those responsibilities, she also spent eight years as the Fine Arts Education Act (FAEA) coordinator for LAPS. During her tenure in that position, she secured funding to bring full-time music and art educators to each of the five elementary schools in our district.
“Congratulations to all our music teachers and way to go Kim for receiving the John Batcheller Elementary Award,” said Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus. “I am so very proud of [Kim] and happy for the whole district!”