Statement as issued Wednesday by the Fort Wayne Community Schools:
North Side High School Music Teacher Edward King has been named the 2012 Fort Wayne Community Schools Teacher of the Year. King has been teaching music to students at North Side for 39 years, taking the Marching Redskins to state countless times and turning out numerous other award-winning musicians.
King was selected as Teacher of the Year because of his inspiring dedication to students over the last four decades and his passion for working with students of all musical abilities. During his interview as a finalist for the Teacher of the Year honor, King said what he remembers most about his own high school years were his music classes. That is something he has always strived to pass on to his students.
“I want to give them memories that last a lifetime,” he said. “I want to show them that music can be a lifelong pursuit.”
For King, music has been a lifelong pursuit. In addition to teaching music, King continues to be a musician in his own right. He founded and continues to serve as the artistic director and lead trombonist for the New Millennium Jazz Orchestra, a professional big band. He also co-founded and continues to play with the Three Rivers Brass Ensemble and serves on the board of the Local 58, American Federation of Musicians.
King believes the better musician he is, the better teacher he can be, which means continuously researching music theory, listening to the latest music and learning from other musicians and teachers. Through the recent professional development initiatives implemented in FWCS, including collaboration time for teachers, King said he has become a better teacher even as he nears the end of his career. He said he has not picked a retirement date yet, but he know when he does it will be hard to leave.
“I would like my students to remember that I cared about each and every one of them,” he said.
“I value the time they gave to the program, the respect they showed me, the memories we made together and my belief that each life has significance. They have all become the threads woven into the fabric of my life as they have passed into and out of my years in the classroom at North Side High School.”
Superintendent Dr. Wendy Robinson praised King’s accomplishments, “Ed King is a treasure to Fort Wayne Community Schools. His passion and dedication over the years is unrivaled. His students may not all become professional musicians, but the skills and values he teaches last a lifetime. Parents frequently stop me and ask that we don’t let him retire until their children are through with school.”
Candidates for Teacher of the Year are nominated by building principals with finalists chosen by a committee of administrators.
The other finalists this year were Angela Gallien, fourth-grade teacher at Shambaugh Elementary; Shanita Nelson, second-grade teacher at Weisser Park Elementary; Amelia Pflieger, fifth-grade teacher at Arlington Elementary; and Louise Swihart, seventh-grade science teacher at Lakeside Middle School. King and the finalists will be honored at a School Board meeting in the fall. King will also be nominated for Indiana Teacher of the Year.