Teacher of the Year 2021-2022

2022 Teachers of the Year results can be found under MSBOA News.
Each year MSBOA recognizes a Teacher of the Year for Band and a Teacher of the Year for Orchestra. The
process begins in the Spring with each of the MSBOA Districts nominating a candidate in each classification.
The Executive Board reviews all of the candidates and selects up to three in each area to submit to the entire
active membership. In this posting you will find statements about each candidate.

MSBOA congratulates each of these fine instrumental music educators for their nomination to this honor. 

Band Nominees


Susan Gould

Susan Gould was band and orchestra director at Greenville High School for 30 years until her retirement in May of 2021. In addition to the high school program, Mrs. Gould taught multiple levels of instrumental music, including fifth, sixth and eighth grade orchestra; and sixth grade brass, woodwind, and percussion.

She received her BME from Michigan State University in 1991 and her Master of Music Degree from Western Michigan University in 1999. She is an active adjudicator for MSBOA district and state level solo and ensemble, band, orchestra, and marching festivals. Mrs. Gould has been the guest conductor for the MSBOA Middle Level String Clinics, the Sanilac County Jr. High Massed Band, the District 4 Middle School Honors Band and the West Central Chamber Orchestra at Ferris State University.

She has held multiple positions with MSBOA, including District Seven Secretary, and 6th VP for Adjudicators and two terms as President. She was the MSBOA State Conducting Symposium Committee Chair for 6 years and served on the Michigan Music Conference Planning Committee for an additional 3 years. She holds memberships in ASBDA and MASTA. She has presented clinics to the Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB), several MSBOA Adjudicator workshops, and at four Michigan Music Conferences. Mrs. Gould was the MSBOA District Seven Orchestra Teacher of the year in 2001, 2009 and 2011, and was a finalist for MSBOA Orchestra Teacher of the Year in 2009 and 2011 and was MSBOA Teacher of the Year for Orchestra in 2011-2012. She was named District Seven Band Teacher of the year for 2021.

During Mrs. Gould's tenure, the Greenville High School instrumental program grew to include three concert bands, the orchestra, the marching band, music theory, and a zero hour jazz band. In 2005, The MASB awarded the Greenville K-12 Music Department with the "Michigan's Best" award for outstanding total program achievement and curriculum. The GHS Bands and Symphony Orchestra have outstanding festival records and solo and ensemble participation and history with students participating in and being nominated for several MYAF honors. Additional career highlights include the 1997 construction of a new music wing and auditorium and total music facility update in 2021, having the GHS Symphony Orchestra selected to perform for the 2012 Michigan Music Conference; traveling with the bands to Paris, France, four trips to Orlando and a trip to New York City in 2019, and taking the orchestra on trips to Toronto, St. Louis and Chicago. She also took yearly field trips to see Broadway musicals and opera locally, and brought in countless guest artists and performers.

She has been awarded numerous grants and donations for various aspects of the program, including funds for four "side by side" concerts with the Grand Rapids Symphony, and grants for artists-in-residence and new instruments. In 2021, she established an endowment through the local Community Foundation to support special projects for the Greenville Music Program for years to come. Mrs. Gould remains an active performer playing in the community Danish Band, the Flat River Big Band; the Klezmer Band, "Chutzpah"; and the Greenville Danish Band. She and her husband Bob have been married for 28 years and have two amazing children, Ilene, age 24 and Isaac, age 19.


Jeanine Ignash

Jeanine Ignash is in her 17th year of teaching. She has been Director of Bands at Ovid-Elsie High School and Middle School for the last 15 years. Jeanine received her bachelor's degree from Eastern Michigan University and her master's degree from The American Band College through Southern Oregon University.

In her time at Ovid-Elsie, Jeanine has worn many hats. She has taught all levels of band, jazz band, marching band, elementary music, choir, and other enrichment/support courses. Ms. Ignash has also served as the fine arts department chair for the last 11 years.

Jeanine and her students shine at our events and festivals. She has been active at both the middle school and high school levels. Her ensembles are well prepared and receive excellent ratings. Jeanine's high school concert band has consistently qualified for our state band and orchestra festival.

As an MSBOA member, Jeanine has been an amazing leader. She has served several roles in District V. She was our president for 5 years and 1st Vice-President for Band and Orchestra for 3 years before that. Jeanine has also served our state membership by chairing the Scholar Instrumentalist Award. Jeanine is currently the State Vice-President of Solo and Ensemble.

With the pandemic, her tasks this year not only changed but were immense! She worked around the clock for several months to coordinate an online experience for both high school and middle school festivals. She headed up a committee and met constantly with our State Office and Web designers to make it possible. Just the amount of emails and questions she answered should earn her a special award. She made this happen for the State!

Jeanine is married to her husband, Jimmy, and together they have two children, Teagan and Isabelle. She has been a member of the Meridian Community band since 2009 and has served as their guest conductor multiple times. Ms. Ignash enjoys reading, playing games, and spending time camping with her family and their two cats, Callie and Milo. Jeanine is a very humble lady and would never expect an award like this. It is time to celebrate her and the fantastic work she does for everyone else, but herself.


Greg Normandin

Greg Normandin is currently in his 40th year as Director of Bands and Orchestra at Detroit Catholic Central (CC) High School. Greg has doubled the size of the band program and has expanded music education at the school to include a strings program as well as a World Drumming course.

His students have earned consistent first division ratings throughout his career both in Band and Orchestra, and Solo and Ensemble Festivals. Over the course of his four decades at CC, he has taken hundreds of students to perform in premier U.S. and European parades In Honolulu, London, Paris, Rome, Madrid and the south of France. He was named the Detroit Catholic Central High School Alumnus of the Year in 2010.

Before being elected State MSBOA President in 2019, Greg held a myriad of state level offices, including VP of Orchestral Activities, Adjudication and Solo & Ensemble. Prior to joining the state cabinet, he served as District 12 president and held several district level offices. He now serves as the first past president of the organization. In 2020, Greg created and chaired the Michigan Music Education Task Force, (made up of music leaders from MSBOA as well as from MASTA, MSVMA and MMEA) to develop guidelines as the state's music educators navigated their way through the early and mid-stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. He coordinated directly with the Governor's Office to present studies to show music students could return to the classroom safely.

In spring of 2021, Greg spearheaded a state-wide communication effort to urge community members to promote music education. The endeavor was supported by Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters as well as top musicians from across Michigan, who appeared in a video public service announcement.

He has adjudicated band and solo & ensemble performances for more than 25 years, and Greg has served as site chair for State Solo and Ensemble Festival at Stoney Creek High School. He also serves as the Treasurer of the Michigan Music Conference Executive Board. This is the third time Greg has been elected Teacher of the Year in District 12.

Greg earned his bachelor's degree in Music Education from Wayne State University and he earned his Master of Arts in Music from Eastern Michigan University.

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Maritza Garibay

Maritza Garibay is the Director of Orchestras at Detroit School of Arts High School where she teaches beginner strings, chamber orchestra, jazz orchestra, and music theory for instrumental music majors. She also leads the DSA New Music Ensemble and is the assistant marching band and drum line instructor. As a vital member of the arts and education community in Detroit, Garibay has worked tirelessly to provide her students with equitable musical experiences over her five years at DSA. Her orchestras have performed in masterclasses with Detroit Symphony Orchestra musicians, the Harlem Quartet, the National Arab Orchestra, Detroit jazz legends Regina Carter and Wendell Harrison, and have had their original compositions pressed to vinyl in partnership with 826 Michigan and Third Man Records.  

During the pandemic, she founded a virtual masterclass series called the Detroit Grooves Project. This Detroit-based cultural arts series provides music students the opportunity to work with local artists from Detroit and to learn about the impact of diasporic African and Black musical cultures in the city. This school year, Garibay has combined her knowledge of DIY analog synthesizers and her students’ passions for electronic music production for a series of instrument building workshops with the DSA New Music Ensemble.

Ms. Garibay has been involved in MSBOA since 2016. In her first year she took on the role of District XV Solo & Ensemble VP. After four successful years as S&E VP, Garibay was appointed District XV President. In service to her school community and the MSBOA, she joined the MSBOA Taskforce for Equity and serves on the Adjudication Sub-Committee where she developed and passed a motion for Implicit-Bias Training for all adjudicators through the Anti- Defamation League.

Ms. Garibay is currently enrolled at Wayne State University completing her Master of Arts in Music with a focus on BIPOC artists in experimental electronic music. She is looking forward to exploring new musical ventures with her students and playing for live audiences again.


Dr. Mark Kotchenruther

Dr. Mark Kotchenruther has served as an orchestra director in the Forest Hills Public Schools (Grand Rapids) since 2000. He directs the orchestras in grades 6-12 at the schools on the Northern campus. He holds a Bachelor's degree in music education from the University of Michigan, a Master's degree in music education from The Ohio State University, and a Ph.D. in music education from the University of Michigan. Prior to his arrival in Forest Hills, Mark taught in the public schools of Louisville and Owensboro, Kentucky as well as Norfolk, Virginia and South Haven, Michigan.

Mark believes in the importance of service as a music educator and has devoted many years working in various positions within MSBOA, including:

  • Middle Level String Clinic host (at Forest Hills Northern HS) for many years
  • String Committee Chair (2000-2009) for District 10
  • VP-Recording (2014-2018) for District 10
  • President of District 10 (2018-2020) and currently Past President for the district

Mark has also dedicated himself to serving string education over the years, including:

  • Orchestral conducting at MASTA Elementary String Camp (7 years), Knollcrest Music Camp (8 years) at Calvin College & Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp (14 years)
  • String methods instructor at Albion College and Western Michigan University
  • Orchestra Conductor for Owensboro (KY) Area Youth Orchestra, Monroe (MI) Youth Orchestra, Lake Michigan Youth Orchestra (St. Joseph), & St. Cecilia Music Center (total 16 years)
  • Organized and developed new elementary string camps in Kentucky and Ohio in the 1990s
  • Midwest Conference (Ann Arbor) coordinator for MASTA (1999-2004)
  • Secretary for the Michigan Music Conference executive committee (2006-2010)
  • President of the Kentucky chapter of American String Teachers Association (1990-1991) & President of the Michigan chapter of ASTA (2008-2010) during which the organization was awarded as "Outstanding Chapter" in 2010.

Over Mark's many years as a director of orchestras, he has mentored many student teachers and younger colleagues. He also has had dozens of local, regional and nationally known guest artists perform with his groups, as well as many outstanding guest conductors work with his orchestras. Mark's ensembles have received wide praise for the quality and musicality of their performance. He has always strived to nurture a love of music in his students and to create a rewarding experience in the classroom. Mark was awarded Teacher of the Year in 2013 by MASTA and also MSBOA Teacher of the Year for District 6 in 2000.


Burke Lokey

Burke Lokey is the Orchestra Director for St. Joseph High School in St. Joseph, Michigan. Under his leadership, the orchestras have earned top ratings at the MSBOA’s Band and Orchestra festivals and performed in New York City, California, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Illinois. In 2012, the SJHS Chamber Orchestra received third place at the ASTA National Orchestra Festival. In 2018, he led a group of over 100 students on a performance tour of the United Kingdom. Burke is also the treasurer for the Michigan Chapter of the American String Teacher Association. In 2014, Burke was appointed as the Director of the Lake Michigan Youth Orchestra and has grown the program into four ensembles, including the newly-added Wind Ensemble. He is also the Education Director for the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra, where he has helped to develop a string program in Benton Harbor, MI and has organized master classes with such artists as Rachel Barton-Pine and Christopher O'Reilly.

Before coming to St. Joseph, Burke taught instrumental music in New York City and Rockland County, NY from 2002 to 2010. During that time, he arranged music for, and conducted ensembles that were showcased at such venues as the Avery Fisher Hall, Carnegie Hall and New York State Music Association Conferences. Burke has an extensive background in Music Education, having received a BA in Music and String Pedagogy from Arizona State University (2001) and a MA in Music Education from Columbia University (2008). He has led workshops and presentations on the use of music technology for education and music advocacy in the community. Burke shares his love of music with his wife, Becky and two young sons, Ryan and Evan. He also enjoys cooking, sports, reading, and traveling.

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