Olsen praises Downers Grove music educators for earning prestigious award


Olsen praises Downers Grove music educators for earning prestigious award   Contributed photo

State Rep. David Olsen (R-Downers Grove) recently commended two local music educators who earned a prestigious industry honor for 2017 — awarded to just one other Illinoisan this year — as he presented the duo with their certificates.

“Congratulations to Downers Grove South High School (DGS) music teachers Glenn Williams and Laura Coster on receiving the 2017 Mary Hoffman Award of Excellence from the Illinois Music Education Association,” Olsen reiterated via a Facebook post. “I was proud to present them certificates … on behalf of the Illinois General Assembly celebrating their teaching excellence.”

Named for well-known Illinois music educator Mary Hoffman, who passed away in 1997, the award has been granted annually since 1999. Winners are initially nominated by their peers.

Awarded with the honor at ILMEA State Music Conference late last month, Williams and Coster set a new record of sorts for the school district; their colleague, Brayer Teague, who serves as fine arts chair at Downers Grove North High School, noticed the correlation.

“To my knowledge, it is unprecedented to have two Mary Hoffman award honorees from the same school in the same year,” Teague said. “This clearly speaks to the high quality of music instruction happening at DGS, and the impact that both Laura and Glenn have had — throughout their teaching careers — on the broader arts landscape in Illinois.”

South High Principal Ed Schwartz concurred, expressing pride in the pair’s achievement and adding that students would directly benefit from Williams’ and Coster’s “commitment to excellence in teaching.”

ILMEA serves over 3,500 members statewide, ranking as the nation’s largest affiliate of The National Association for Music Education (NAfME).

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