Sep 27, 2023
During its annual luncheon in late January, the Illinois chapter of the American String Teachers Association named CCSD21 Orchestra Director Heidi Flowers its Outstanding Classroom Teacher for 2023.
The award is given to a “teacher in a school orchestra setting who has achieved or maintained excellence in their program or who has been extraordinarily successful in building a new program or revitalizing an existing one through the use of innovative teaching techniques, creative connections with the community, etc.”
“When I received the news, my first response was, ‘are you sure?’” Flowers said. “I was unaware just how much my hard work and contributions to string education were visible to other orchestra directors in the state, and was honored to have been recognized in this way.”
The CCSD21 alumna’s journey with stringed instruments began in the fourth grade, when at Twain Elementary School, she chose the viola as her first instrument. “The instrumental music program in District 21 is second to none, always has been, and I believe my experiences in our district contributed to my passion for music,” Flowers adds. “It is this passion that fueled my desire to become an orchestra director.”
Flowers has been orchestra director in District 21 since 1995, and mentioned it “has been an honor creating experiences and upholding traditions for the orchestra students across the district.”
She accepted the award during the banquet held at the Illinois Music Educators Conference on Jan. 27 in Peoria.