At Kansas Music Educators Association conventions, high school students have the honor of performing in honor choir or band, but a local music teacher brought home an award from a recent regional meeting.
Hillsboro High School choir director Lynn Just was one of three to win an outstanding music educator award for 2016-17 from South Central KMEA on Dec. 3.
Just said winning the award was cool because her friend, Rose Hill vocal director Brian Stranghoner, also won an award.
“We’ve known each other for quite a while,” Just said.
Just is also friends with KMEA director Amy Brown, who presented the awards to them.
The award is presented to music teachers in south central Kansas who have been teaching for more than 20 years. Just has been teaching full time in public schools for 21.
“When Amy announced between the two winners they have a combined 60+ years of teaching, Brian looked over and said, ‘Well, we’re old farts,’” Just said. “Yeah, we are.”
After winning the award, Just received congratulations from many students, current and former.
“I did have several former students make comments,” Just said, “so it was cool to hear from some of them from back when I didn’t know as much as I do now.”
There was only one thing Just wishes had happened differently at the award ceremony.
“I wish I could have seen the students’ reactions because they didn’t know,” Just said, “but it goes too fast.”
Just was honored to be nominated and given the award.
“It’s nice to be acknowledged by your peers,” Just said. “For somebody to take that time for me is awesome, that’s a good feeling. Someday I’ll pay it forward.”