Scott Jackson was nominated by Angela Ruiz of Enid, OK
Teacher of the Year
Scott Jackson, director of the Stillwater Public Schools Orchestra Program since 2002, is originally from Enid, Oklahoma where he began studying the cello with Daphne Dougherty in 6th grade. In 2001 Mr. Jackson received his Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from Oklahoma State University. His cello teachers at OSU included Evan Tonsing, Larry Stomberg, and Jeffery Lastrapes. He also studied conducting with Joseph P. Missal, Richard Prior, and Douglas Droste. In May of 2008, Scott Jackson received a Master's degree in Cello Pedagogy and Performance from OSU.
As director of the Stillwater Orchestra Program, Mr. Jackson instructs grades 8-12 at the junior high and high school. The four performing groups which make up this area of Stillwater’s Orchestra program regularly earn superior ratings at OSSAA Orchestra Contests. The SHS Orchestra has qualified for sweepstakes in 11 of the last 15 years, and they have earned superior ratings at every Fall String Orchestra Contest since inception.
Mr. Jackson frequently serves as a faculty member/guest conductor for music camps and youth honor orchestras in Oklahoma and Northwest Arkansas region.
Mr. Jackson maintains membership in the National Association for Music Education and the American String Teacher Association. During the 2008 – 2009 school year Mr. Jackson served as chairman of the Oklahoma Music Education Association All-State Orchestra, and from 2011-2013 Mr. Jackson served as the Orchestra Area Vice- President for the OMEA.
Dorothy Hays retired in May, 2002, after completing 29 years of making stringed music, from the Putnam City School District. Though responsible at times for teaching stringed instruments to students in Kindergarten through Grade 12, her focus was being the orchestra director at Central Junior High/Middle School (now Capps Middle School) for 25 years. Since her retirement from public school teaching, Dorothy was the Master Teacher with the Sooner String Project at the University of Oklahoma from 2002 to 2005.
Dorothy is currently teaching and coordinating adult beginning violin, viola and cello classes called “Be the Orchestra” as an outreach program for the Oklahoma City Philharmonic. From these classes, the Society of Strings, a string orchestra for adults, was organized. With new beginners graduating from “Be the Orchestra” every March, a second, less advanced orchestra, was begun with Dorothy as the director and John Schimek was brought in to direct Society of Strings. These outreach programs for the Philharmonic have allowed Mrs. Hays to continue to teach, encourage, and help these adults, who possess a great desire to learn to play a stringed instrument.
Mrs. Hays has been a member of the cello section in the Oklahoma City Philharmonic since 1989.
Teacher of the Year
Dr. Morris was nominated for this award by ASTA-OK career member and Elizabeth Green award-recipient, Anne Guevara. He received the award at the Oklahoma Music Educators Association Fall Conference in October 2016 at Oklahoma City University.
Carl Flesch commented in his landmark work on violin playing that it was not his aim to teach a student how to play the violin, but rather to give the student a thorough knowledge of how violin playing works so that with time and the aid of a good teacher, the student can become his own best teacher. With this philosophy always near in mind, Ralph Morris, D.M.A., began teaching violin, viola and string pedagogy at the University of Central Oklahoma in 1991 and later began serving as director the UCO Symphony Orchestra in 1995.
In keeping the idea to provide a thorough knowledge of how violin playing works, Morris identifies three aspects of string playing to each of his students, technique, interpretation with expressiveness, and performing, always emphasizing that while these elements are distinct in nature, they ultimately construct one whole.
Under Morris’s tutelage and teaching philosophy, numerous UCO string students have become successful public school teachers in Oklahoma as well as nationwide. Others hold tenured positions as university professors. At the high school level, his students have had success in the OMEA All-State Orchestra, at the Quartz Mountain Summer Arts Institute, and at the Buttram String Competition, with students serving as principal players and winner in all the above venues.
“I am honored to be recognized by the fine group of string teachers we have here in Oklahoma,” said Morris. “I will also always be grateful for the training of my own teachers, who invested so much in my life and gave me the opportunity to develop as both a teacher and performer working locally and internationally.” It is Morris’s aim to share the same experiences I was afforded with his students.