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El Sistema USA® is proud to present the Mark Churchill Teacher of the Year Award. This award aims to honor the vision and mission of the organization as well as the founder of El Sistema USA, Mark Churchill. A subcommittee of the board will review applications and select one Teacher of the Year which will be presented at the ESUSA 2023 National Symposium. The Teacher of the Year will receive free symposium registration, flight, and hotel reimbursement for the event. Teachers must teach for an El Sistema USA member program.

Nominations are due February 10, 2023 at 12pm PT. If you have questions, please email

Nominees should uphold both excellence and equity in their classrooms. Applications will consider three areas:

Character & Student Connection

  • Selflessness
  • Sincerity
  • Authentic & strong relationships with the students
  • High expectations


  • Ability to motivate
  • Creativity in classroom
  • Musical excellence for students
  • Successful artistic outcomes for students
  • Teacher is artistic model


  • Renewal of approach – ability to keep reinventing themself
  • Holistic approach – not just teaching music
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