School Board Honors Junior High Music Teacher Melinda Walker for Citation of Excellence Awarded by Pennsylvania Music Educators Association
Last night Mr. Howard Baxter introduced Abington Junior High School music teacher Ms. Melinda Walker and provided information on her selection as this year’s PMEA District 11 Citation of Excellence award winner.
Mr. Baxter explained that the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) is the second largest state music education association in the nation. Each year this association recognizes excellence in teaching through the PMEA Citation of Excellence. Ms. Walker is the sixth Abington teacher to earn this recognition.
Ms. Walker joined the Abington School District in 2002, serving as Willow Hill Elementary School’s general music teacher before moving into the Choral Director position at Abington Junior High School in 2003. At Willow Hill, she established a Choir Chime Ensemble, a Select Chorus, and served as the vocal coach for the Junior High School musical. She also sponsored the first Willow Hill students to participate in PMEA District 11’s Elementary Song Fest.
Since moving to the Junior High School’s vocal music program, she has continued her lists of “firsts.” Under her direction, the Abington Junior High School choruses were the first musical ensembles from the Abington School District to participate in adjudicated music ensemble festivals and were the first Abington musical ensembles to achieve a rating of Superior for their performance. Ms. Walker encourages students to participate in the annual PMEA District 11 Middle School/Junior High Song Fest, an event she has hosted twice. She secured a grant for the Junior High School to participate in the Opera Outreach Program of the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia and her choruses have performed the National Anthem at several Philadelphia Phillies baseball games as well as performing at many other community events.
Ms. Walker graduated Magna cum laude from Temple University and received her Master’s degree from Arcadia University. She taught music in Galeshewe, South Africa during the summer of 2000. She has made numerous presentations at the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association’s District 11 Staff Development Conference.