Professor named 'Outstanding Educator'

According to Western Washington University music professor Walter Schwede, his recent award from the state chapter of the American String Teachers Association is another in a long list of examples that WWU’s relationship to the state’s public schools is paying off in spades.

“In my career, I’ve dedicated myself to making certain that we make ourselves invaluable to public education across the state,” Schwede says. “For me, it’s something I’m proud of. I know of no more important relationship than that between Western and public school and private studio teachers, and it keeps us in the forefront in our profession.”

At the recent Washington Music Educators Association conference, Schwede was honored as WASTA’s Outstanding College Educator for 2008. In 2006, the organization named him the University Teacher of the Year. Aside from its obvious use as a tool for recruiting junior high and high school musicians to the program at Western, this collaboration of Western professors and high school music teachers serves other valuable functions as well, Schwede says.

“We’re all after the same thing; we’re all educators,” he says. “We’ll be teaching the same thing here that teachers tell their students down in the grades. (This collaboration) can help them validate what they’re teaching their students.”