NATCHITOCHES – Graduates of Northwestern State University’s music education program are being recognized for excellence in their professions. Christopher Williams, director of bands at Destrehan High School, was named recipient of the 2018 Outstanding Young Educator by the Louisiana Music Educators Association (LMEA) and Karl Carpenter, principal at Pineville High School, was named LMEA’s Outstanding Administrator. Jessica Fain, director of bands at Tioga Junior High, was featured in “The Instrumentalist” magazine after being named 2018 Louisiana Bandmaster of the Year.
Williams graduated from Northwestern State in 2015 with a bachelor’s of music education with certification in instrumental music (K-12) and vocal music (K-12). He is in his third year of teaching at Destrehan and in his second as director of bands. He teaches band classes, visits the middle school feeders to help teach and recruit for the future and teaches AP music theory. At NSU, Williams was involved with Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. He has taught drum corps for the last five summers and is currently teaching brass at the Phantom Regiment based in Rockford, Illinois.
To qualify for LMEA’s Outstanding Young Educator, educators must have taught no more than five years and have served their students, communities and profession in an exemplary manner. The nominees must have enthusiasm for teaching, love for music and a desire to further the musical education of his or her students.
Carpenter earned a bachelor’s degree in music education in 1979 and a master’s degree in music at Northwestern in 1987 before completing his doctorate at the University of Southern Mississippi in 2001. He began his career in 1979 as a band director serving at Oberlin High School, Winnfield Senior High and Tioga High School before becoming assistant principal at Tioga. He later assumed leadership as principal at Carter C. Raymond Middle School and is currently principal at Pineville High School, where he has served since 2007.
The Outstanding Administrator honor recognizes outstanding school principals, assistant principals, superintendents and/or assistant or associate superintendents who demonstrate support for and commitment to high-quality arts education programs in their schools. Carpenter became part of the Louisiana Music Educators Association Hall of Fame in 2012. He is also a member of the NSU’s Hall of Distinguished Educators. He is a former LMEA president and member of the LMEA Hall of Fame.
The honors will be presented during the LMEA annual state music conference in Baton Rouge later this month.
Fain was profiled in “The Instrumentalist” in a feature titled “How the 2018 Louisiana Bandmaster of the Year keeps her seventh and eighth graders working hard and playing well.” “The Instrumentalist” is an American monthly magazine for music educators — focusing on scholastic band and orchestra — and performing artists and composers.
Now in her 10th year of teaching, the 2018 Bandmaster of the Year for the Louisiana Bandmasters Association, shared tips on how she keeps her seventh and eighth grade students motivated. She also team teaches with the Tioga High School band director Ty Lege, primarily as a percussion instructor, and assists with after-school marching band rehearsals, football games, and competitions. Lege is also a 2009 graduate of NSU.
Fain earned a bachelor’s degree in music education in 2009. As a student, she was involved with Sigma Alpha Iota, Kappa Delta Pi, Spirit of Northwestern Demon Marching Band.