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WASD Teacher Named Penn State School of Music's Outstanding Alumni Music Educator

District Wide

April 04, 2019 | Faculty News

Anna Radspinner PSU Award Pic

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (APRIL 4, 2019) — Anna Radspinner has been named Penn State School of Music’s 2018-2019 Outstanding Alumni Music Educator.

According to the music school, the award recognizes “outstanding Penn State alumni for distinguished service to K-12 music programs.”

Radspinner, an orchestra teacher at Curtin Intermediate School, will be recognized on April 4 during Penn State’s reception at the 2019 Pennsylvania Music Educators Association conference in Pittsburgh. She’ll also visit and speak to classes on campus in the fall.

“When I received the letter in the mail I was really, really surprised,” Radspinner said. “Having grown up in the WASD, I realized that our school district had a tremendous general music program. I believe that because of my solid foundation, I was able to thrive in this area of study at PSU where others could not find the excitement, joy, and necessity of having a strong general music curriculum.”

Radspinner has taught elementary music and directed choirs across the district at all levels for 17 years. She earned her undergraduate degree in music education from PSU and also holds a master’s degree in educational leadership with a principal certification from Wilkes University.

She’s given presentations at PMEA’s annual conferences and at the American String Teacher Association (ASTA) National Conference. She’s received a PMEA Citation of Excellence and was named a 2018 String Teacher of the Year by the Pennsylvania and Delaware chapters of ASTA.

Radspinner has led and continues to lead several school community efforts. In particular, she spearheads #socktober, a month-long campaign conducted at Curtin each October to collect pairs of socks to benefit the area’s homeless. Over the last five years, the campaign has collected about 15,000 pairs. In addition to several other programs and projects, she also helps coordinate the school’s BackPack Program with the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, leads an annual summer string camp, and organizes Curtin’s annual YAM JAM celebration.

Simply put, Radspinner states: “I love my students. I eat, sleep, and breathe the WASD, but especially Curtin and the community in which we live and serve.”

When it comes to teaching, Radspinner believes when a child experiences a meaningful and relevant music education throughout grade school, they’ll become good listeners, better problem-solvers, strong communicators, effective leaders, be innovative, be collaborators, as well as be empathetic, expressive and creative.

“The fact of the matter is that employers are looking for these essential skills in their stack of applications,” she said. “I don’t teach music to make music teachers. I teach music to make better people.”

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