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Volume 24, Number 9 — September 2017

Outstanding Teachers in the Arts

Outstanding teachers in the Arts include, from left, Bill PHelps, Heidi McElroy and Bandi Brownlee.
Outstanding teachers in the Arts include, from left, Bill PHelps, Heidi McElroy and Bandi Brownlee.

Helping Students Realize Their Potential

By ANGELA WAMPLER | A! MAGAZINE FOR THE ARTS | January 25, 2010

More than a job, teaching is a calling. Great teachers respect and admire their students. They encourage and invite participation and creativity.

There are great educators in every school system. Because outstanding teachers rarely get the recognition they deserve, A! Magazine for the Arts selected three local teachers as prime examples:

— - Bandy Brownlee teaches choral music at Bristol Tennessee High School;
— - Heidi McElroy is the Fine Arts Chairman at Abingdon High School;and
— - Bill Phelps has taught English, creative writing, speech and drama at John S. Battle High School in Bristol, Va., for 40 years.

These outstanding teachers may have seniority and/or post-graduate degrees, but young people respond to them because they are passionate about their work. That's important because teachers have a profound effect upon students, and ultimately on our society, a greater effect than anyone except parents.

According to a book entitled Teach With Your Strengths: How Great Teachers Inspire Their Students (Gallup Press, New York), every survey conducted since 1968 by Phi Delta Kappa, a professional organization for educators, has shown that Americans worry about a lack of great teachers — as well they should.

So what is it that makes Brownlee, McElroy and Phelps outstanding teachers? What sets them apart? A! Magazine for the Arts learned one thing they all have in common: love of students, learning and teaching.

MEET THE OUTSTANDING TEACHERS
Education and Experience

— Life's A Stage for Bill Phelps