Local Educators Recognized For Arts Excellence

BERLIN — Two individuals from Worcester County Public Schools were honored by the Maryland Music Educator Association (MMEA) for demonstrating excellence in their profession, providing and supporting quality music education for our students, and exemplifying the definition of educational professionals.

Ocean City Elementary School teacher Dr. Anne Binkley received MMEA’s Outstanding New Music Educator Award, which is dedicated to exceptional professionals who have taught in the public school system for five years or fewer. Binkley currently teaches music to grades 2, 3 and 4. Dedicated to continual learning and growing in her profession, she has recently received her doctorate in Music Education from Liberty University.

“Dr. Binkley’s passion for music and teaching not only shows during student performances, but also in the classroom,” Coordinator of Instruction Tamara Mills said. “She brings a presence of excitement that helps students feel confident and take artistic risks.”

Buckingham Elementary School Principal Dr. Christina Welch has been honored with MMEA’s Outstanding School Administrator Award. Creating an environment at Buckingham where the arts and music are a valued part of every child’s education, Welch supports her arts programs in all aspects of professional development and implementation.

“Dr. Welch has helped to bring artists-in-residences, musical performances from the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation and Symphony 21, helped to create the Bucky Belters choral program alongside her music teacher, and helped create the school system’s first early childhood Music and Movement class for her youngest students.” Mills said. “Her leadership in embracing the arts as an integral part of a student’s experience is undoubtedly why MMEA has recognized her.”

There is abundant research that supports that high-quality arts and music programs enrich students’ education.

“The arts improve academic performance and focus, develop students’ social-emotional wellbeing, help students develop critical thinking skills, and reduce stress,” Superintendent of Schools Lou Taylor said.  “Worcester County is fortunate to be the home of so many talented teachers and administrators and we are particularly proud to celebrate these individuals this school year.”