Park Place Middle School band teacher Ansgar Duemchen and the owners of Ben Franklin Craft and Frameshop, Adrian and Deanna Taylor, were recently honored for their contributions to Monroe Public Schools by the Sno-Isle Region 109 of the Washington Association of School Administrators.
Duemchen, who has taught in Monroe for nine years, has been the first instrumental music teacher for many of the district’s students. He received the 2013 Student Achievement Leadership Award which recognizes innovation that has resulted in measurable growth in student success.
“He takes sixth graders who have never touched an instrument, and don’t know what end to blow, and they are performing recognizable music by December,” says Park Place Principal JoAnn Carbonetti. “He has a passion for kids and music, and brings the two together,” says Park Place Assistant Principal Joel Garrison.
Duemchen currently teaches six large classes a day. He also teaches jazz band three mornings a week, and often takes students to contests and festivals on weekends. He was “blown away” by the award. “Tons of teachers deserve this award,” he says. “A lot of my colleagues do the work that I do.”
The Taylors received the Community Leadership Award for their almost 40 years of supporting education and the community. Their many projects include student scholarships, donating supplies for school projects and proceeds from the store’s annual “Giving Tree” sale which benefits the school district foundation.
“We feel if customers shop and support us, then we should support the community by giving back,” says Adrian Taylor.
Another significant way the Taylors have shown support is by hiring young people for their first jobs – more than 600 during the past 38 years.