AJHS Band Teacher Receives Teaching Excellence Award

By Sally Marks

Jaclyn Chappel, band director and music teacher at Apache Junction High School, is one of four music teachers in the state of Arizona to receive Lead Guitar’s Teaching Excellence Award.

Lead Guitar is an organization that establishes permanent classical guitar classes in public schools with low access to the arts. The Lead Guitar instructors co-teach with a school’s instructor and use a field-tested curriculum to teach students to play and to train teachers to teach classical guitar.

Lead Guitar Teaching Staff were asked to nominate a K-12 educator with whom they co-teach Lead Guitar classes for a Teaching Excellence Award. They were asked to consider areas such as fluency in the Lead Guitar curriculum, effective communication with instructors, mentorship in classroom management techniques and learning strategies, cooperative lesson-planning and any other criteria they felt to be significant.

Dr. Jonathan Crissman, who co-teaches with Ms. Chappel and nominated her for the award wrote:

“Jaclyn understands the Lead Guitar curriculum as well as any teacher I have worked with. She has bought into it 100%, and as a result, her students – even in a beginning class that has never touched the guitar before – have completed Method Book I, are in control of technique in both hands and are on their way to becoming fine musicians.”

The other Lead Guitar’s Teaching Excellence Awards were given to Mike Baggesse, Sky Island High School in Tucson; Ruben Rivero, Baboquivari Middle High School in Topawa and Eric Krell, Tortolita Middle School in Marana.

The Lead Guitar program at AJHS is funded, in part, through the generosity of the Gold Canyon Arts Council.

AJHS band teacher Jaclyn Chappel teaches classical guitar using techniques by Lead Guitar, a 501(c)3 program affiliated with the University of Arizona

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