Ms. Angela Schmitt graduated from the Grand Valley State University Honors College with her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education with Piano Performance Honors. She is a pianist, percussionist, and saxophonist and is an alum of Jenison Public Schools. Ms. Schmitt spent her teacher assisting semester at Grandville Public Schools with Janell Mergan where she taught K-5 Elementary Music. Ms. Schmitt spent her student teaching semester in Greenville Public Schools with Susan Gould and Jeff Ayers teaching Middle and High School Band and Orchestra.
Ms. Schmitt teaches piano privately, and teaches competitive marching band percussion at Jenison. As a musician, Ms. Schmitt has performed as a soloist and a collaborator for/with a wide variety of groups including the Women’s City Club of Grand Rapids, St. Cecelia’s School of Music, the FJH music company, the Saugatuck Civic Theatre, Grand Valley’s Concert Band, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and New Music Ensemble. She is an active accompanist of soloists, small ensembles, orchestras, choirs, bands, and has accompanied over 40 students for over 60 performances in a variety of settings. Ms. Schmitt has recently enjoyed giving informational recitals in schools to provide students with high quality musical experiences.
Professional development is very important to Ms. Schmitt, as she strongly believes in bettering herself as an educator to best set up her students to be successful. She attends many conferences, and will be traveling to Indiana this week for the Conn-Selmer Institute. She is also very interested in research, and is currently working with Dr. Kevin Tutt and another colleague on music program evaluation research. Ms. Schmitt is the former president of the Grand Valley chapter of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), and was appointed President of all of the collegiate chapters of NAfME in the State of Michigan. She additionally was a board representative for college students to the Michigan Music Education Association.
When she is not teaching or performing, Ms. Schmitt enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She is very close with her sister, Elena, and has many funny stories about her vivacious cat, Mika. Ms. Schmitt is a former varsity tennis player, and enjoys playing tennis and running in her free time. She is a fan of coffee, reading, and word games. She enjoys puzzles too, though her cat likes playing with puzzle pieces and tends to make the puzzle process very difficult.
Though it is only the beginning, Ms. Schmitt has enjoyed meeting the students and staff so far at Morley Stanwood, and can not wait to be fully immersed in the quality education and warm environment of Morley Stanwood Community Schools.
My name is Ms. Angela Schmitt, and I am the new Director of Bands at Morley Stanwood. I am excited to begin my new position, and would like to tell you more about myself. I am a recent graduate of Grand Valley State University where I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Music Education with Piano Performance Honors. My certification is K-12, but I have the most experience teaching middle and high school bands as well as elementary music.
First, I would like to extend my thanks to Mr. VanStrien for welcoming me so warmly into this community. Mr. VanStrien surely had an insurmountable impact on this district, and I am very thankful for his support and collaboration in this transition. I would also like to thank the administration and the interviewing committee. I am honored to have been selected for this position. Throughout this summer and the start of the school year, I will be focusing heavily on learning the traditions of this program and connecting with the students and the community. I plan to continue learning and working with the traditions left by Mr. VanStrien, but I will have a slightly different teaching style. All educators are different, and this is normal. However, Mr. VanStrien and I are very similar in the warmth we bring to our teaching, and our student-centered instruction.
The importance I place on student connection and warmth within the classroom is one of the first things you will notice about my work. The band family in Morley Stanwood is a strong one, and I will continue to emphasize the importance of positive treatment of others, encouragement within our program, and connection. I am honored to be a new part of this family, and I look forward to continuing to develop this warm and supportive environment.
Over the next few weeks I will be working to establish a communication system similar to the one used in this program already. I plan to continue using the band website, Skyward and social media (Facebook and Twitter) for updates on events and announcements. Email will continue to be the primary method of communication from me, as it seems to be the most effective and efficient. Paper copies of important documents will be sent home, and emailed through the band website as well. Our main goal is to keep everyone informed and involved, and I will be continuing to send out more information as this transition continues.
Should you have any questions about the contents of this letter, please contact me. I am so excited to work with the students and community and I look forward to this year of learning!