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Thursday, February 27, 2014
Editor's note: This is a continuation of a series profiling local teachers of the year.
After having a baby in May 2013, Jaime Powell wasn't sure how well she could juggle life as a working mom.
Powell, the band director at North Augusta Middle School, has done a stellar balancing act, evident by her being named the teacher of the year.
“This is an incredible honor, both personally and professionally,” she said. “As a new mom, there were many times I wondered how I was going to get everything done without sacrificing quality on the mommy side of things or the teacher side of things. Personally, this honor helps to affirm that I can succeed as a teacher and a mom. Professionally, this honor means the world to me. I genuinely love teaching, and being recognized for something I am so passionate about is wonderful.”
The band at North Augusta Middle School includes concert bands, football band, chamber ensembles and percussion ensemble, all under the direction of Powell.
“This has been a great year for the band program,” she said. “We have wonderful and hardworking kids in the North Augusta Middle School band. Our enrollment has grown a lot from last year to include 215 students in grades 6 through 8. North Augusta Middle School has students represented in the South Carolina All State Honor Band, Region Honor Band and All County Honor Band. These are all prestigious groups made up of students from around the state who have earned a spot through an audition process. In addition, our eighth-grade band will travel to Atlanta for two days later in March to attend the Southern Star Music Festival.”
While performing in different venues and types of bands is a reward for Powell and her musicians, the preparation for these events is a favorite for the director.
“The day-to-day interactions with my kids are the most rewarding part,” Powell said. “The public sees our performances at parades, concerts, and school assemblies. Those are a lot of fun for me, but the rewarding part is the process in preparing for these performances that takes place in the classroom every day. Watching the students improve from day to day and seeing their love for music grow is why I love teaching band.”
Although the teacher of the year award was not expected, Powell is appreciative of the praise.
“It was definitely a surprise. NAMS has so many wonderful teachers, and I honestly did not expect this at all,” she said. “I was honored to even be nominated along with the other wonderful teachers on the list.”
T.J. Lundeen is a reporter for The North Augusta Star. Follow him on Twitter @lundeentj for more updates.