LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Robin Wood

Position: Choral Teacher
School: Liberty High School / Maywood Middle School
School District: Issaquah School District
City, State: Renton, WA

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Music that Describes Robin

Robin Wood was nominated by her colleague, Miryam Christensen.

When Ms. Wood moved from her elementary music teaching position to that of high school choral director, the program was hemorrhaging, with fewer than twenty students in only one choir. Ms. Wood's dedication to the arts, passion for teaching her students, and high expectations have revived the music program to astronomical heights. Soon, the high school choral program grew to three choirs, with well over 100 in the audition choir. Ms. Wood conducts one of these choirs before and after school twice a week. She was also hired to start up the discontinued middle school choir, which she has expanded to meet growing demands. The community and students are always eager to be involved with the choirs, as Ms. Wood brings out the best of every student through her solid, caring, and high standards for music instruction. She literally brings out the best in everyone and everything she is involved with.

Ms. Wood is a leader and model for excellence in her school and district responsibilities. She was recently on the board for the design and construction of the high school's new performing arts center, and she spear-heads multiple annual choral fundraisers with unfailing enthusiasm. Ms. Wood is also the director of a yearly music festival, where choirs from six district schools (550+ performers) have a workshop and mass-choir performance each spring (Music Alive!). This event has included coordinating with choirs, directors and support staff from each school, including the high school orchestra, jazz band; community dance studio, and countless student musicians.

In addition, Ms. Wood is the choral director for school musicals. She maintains a very positive public image for her choirs by arranging multiple performances in the school community, various public & private venues, choral festivals, and combining annually with a local symphony, throughout the year. Ms. Wood encourages and facilitates the process for students to prepare vocal recordings for local, state, and honors choirs, competitions, and scholarships. She has auditioned and was awarded the opportunity to take her high school choirs to perform in New York, Disneyland, as well as a private workshop with Cal State Long Beach's director of the World Choir.

Ms. Wood earned the esteemed invitation to take her high school choirs to perform in New York’s Carnegie Hall in April 2019, and she feverishly prepared her students for the trip’s events. This included eleven months of numerous fundraisers, coordinating schedules & accommodations, and rehearsals outside of school hours. One of her colleagues described her efforts below:

“The parents and community of LHS are forever grateful to Robin Wood and the LHS support staff who made the choir's trip to NYC's Carnegie Hall possible. Countless hours of collaboration and un-daunting energy were spent during this past year conducting the colossal task of synchronizing schedules, coordinating fundraisers, collecting and recording funds, procuring accommodations, chaperones and touring opportunities, and preparing the combined choirs for their hard-earned standing ovation performance in Carnegie Hall. Thank you for your dedication to the arts, believing in your students, and making the world a better place by putting your heart and soul into your daily work!"

Ms. Wood maintains the highest of ethics and expectations for herself and her students. She is a trusted adult and is a continuous, supportive advocate for students who would otherwise be misunderstood outliers in the school community. Her nurturing personality always brings the most positive results out of her students, for they know she believes in them and sincerely advocates for their success.

"Robin Wood is a teacher who projects enthusiasm and love for her craft as a teacher, advocate, advisor, confidant, and esteemed colleague," said Christensen. "She is the driving force for excellence in her department and makes copious sacrifices for the benefit of the music program and growth of each student. She is held in highest esteem with students, parents, colleagues, and the community. It is with honor and humility I nominate her as an educator with the highest of standards and expectations in every way possible."