Kwalikum Secondary’s Dave Stewart was recognized as the province’s Most Outstanding Secondary Music Educator by his peers last weekend.
Selected by a jury of peers for the BC Music Educators Association’s AGM in Richmond Oct. 20-22, the award recognizes significant contributions to the teaching profession and the musical community at large.
Fellow KSS music teacher Dan Craven pointed out Stewart, often referred to as humble, wouldn’t likely talk about it unless prompted.
“Dave’s tireless work for his students in and out of the classroom, his contribution to regional and provincial festival and educational organizations, and his ongoing work to develop curriculum and improve the profession all reflect very well on our school and district,” Craven said.
Stewart said he was recognized not only for the provincewide reputation of the school’s music program, but because of the lifelong impact such a program can have on all music students, not just the relative few who go into musical careers.
He estimated three to five per cent of their music students go on to some kind of music related career, but that he often hears from former students thankful for the lessons music taught them.
Stewart, who has taught music for 32 years, including over 20 at KSS, said former students thank him for teaching them how to listen to and appreciate music they might not otherwise listen to.
“Or they say they hated the early morning rehearsal times but they appreciate that they learnt to get up early and go to class.”
He pointed out the skills music teaches are applicable in many areas of life.
While not all of his students keep playing an instrument, Stewart himself is still an active trumpet player in several different bands, mostly in the Courtenay-Comox area.
Stewart, Craven and the KSS music program and students are widely and frequently recognized for their high level of achievement.
School District 69 (Qualicum) board chair Eve Flynn recognized the award and praised Stewart and Craven at this week’s board meeting.