MusiCounts Teacher of the Year, Kim Hastings from Pioneer Middle School in Rocky Mountain House, AB was honoured at the JUNO Gala Dinner & Awards by award winning artist and author, Jann Arden. Thanks to Aeroplan Miles, MusiCounts travelled to Alberta to surprise Kim in her classroom joined by current and former students, colleagues, friends and family. Click the video in the media section to watch the surprise unfold, and learn more about Kim.
A fierce advocate for music education in schools, Hastings has been a music teacher for over 30 years, 27 of them at Pioneer Middle School. She is a two-time winner of the Rocky Mountain House Mayor’s Award for Contribution to the Arts, and her school bands and ensembles have won many accolades and awards at the regional, provincial and national levels.
Hastings works tirelessly to remove barriers that students might face while trying to access music education. She often waives fees, transports students to rehearsals and created a beginner band program to allow all students the chance to explore music. An impressive seventy-five percent of Pioneer Middle School students participate in her classes, some of whom have gone on to become music teachers themselves.
“We are thrilled to present Kim Hastings with this year’s MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award, to recognize the impact she has made on both her students and the music education community,” said Kristy Fletcher, Executive Director, MusiCounts. “She has worked tirelessly to make the music program at Pioneer Middle School accessible to all students, and her advocacy for music education has had a positive influence on curriculums at both the local and provincial level.”
As the MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award recipient, Kim received a $10,000 cash donation, a significant contribution to the Pioneer Middle School music program, a spectacular crystal statuette based on the JUNO Award design, was honoured at JUNO Week in London, ON. Kim was able to attend the JUNO Awards in Ontario thanks to Aeroplan Miles.
“I am completely overwhelmed and humbled to receive this award. I love teaching middle school band and am passionate about the need to have music be a part of every child’s education,” said Kim Hastings. “I am blessed to have an amazing support system in the Rocky Mountain House and could not do what I do without my family.”