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Congratulations to WMS Principal John Harris, winner of the 2014 NE Music Educators Association Outstanding Administrator Award! Harris (center) is pictured with WMS/WHS Vocal Director Julie Baker-Anderson and WMS/WHS Band Director Jason Smith.

WPS principal honored for active support of music education

John Harris receives 2014 NMEA Outstanding Administrator Award!

"Music is a more potent instrument than any other for education, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul." --Plato

The Wahoo Public Schools are blessed to be lead by administrators who understand and value the importance of robust fine arts programs, and their active support doesn't go unnoticed.

Each year the Nebraska Music Educators Association (NMEA) presents several awards at their annual banquet. One of these awards recognizes one Outstanding Administrator each year.

According to the NMEA website: "The purpose of the Outstanding School Administrator award is to recognize administrative support for music education. This award will be made to individuals who have demonstrated active, ongoing support for balanced music programs. The award will be presented at the annual awards and recognition banquet at the in-service conference/clinic."

This year's awards banquet was held on Thurs., Nov. 20, where the 2014 Outstanding School Administrator recipient was announced: Wahoo's own Middle School Principal John Harris, himself a talented musician.

Mr. Harris was nominated for the award via several letters, which were written by WPS fine arts instructors and other supporters.

In her nomination letter, WMS/WHS Vocal Director Julie Baker-Anderson stated, in part, "I can think of no other person more deserving of this award. It has been an absolute joy to teach under such an amazing administrator who truly makes a difference. Our music department has flourished because of his support and his willingness to work alongside us to make wonderful things happen each and every day!" Please click HERE to read the entire letter.

Mr. Harris's commitment to music advocacy and his invaluable help for the Wahoo Music Program make him an ideal candidate for this award.

"Mr. Harris has had a huge role in the success of the music program at Wahoo," commented WMS/WHS Instrumental Music Director Jason Smith. "It would have been criminal NOT to nominate him for this award! We wanted to show him how much we appreciate his hard work."

Past recipients of this award include WPS Superintendent Galen Boldt and former WHS Principal Chris Arent.

Reflecting on the experience, Mr. Harris commented: "I want to humbly express my thanks to the NMEA for recognizing me as the Outstanding Administrator for 2014. I do what I do because I so value music and what it has allowed me to do in my life. That room full of music teachers standing and applauding my efforts left me nearly without words. ...An administrator's job is made easier when they are working with talented music teachers; Jason Smith and Julie Baker-Anderson are among the best in the state! Our students are truly blessed at Wahoo Middle and High School to be working under the guidance of those two 'dreamers'."

Congratulations Mr. Harris on a well-deserved honor!

For more information about NMEA and their awards, please visit http://nmeanebraska.org/

WPS principal honored for active support of music education

Avery Spicka

Nov 24, 2014

Way to go, Mr. Harris!