LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Sheryl Hauk

Position: Vocal Music Director/Fine Arts Coordinator
School: West Bloomfield High School
School District: West Bloomfield School District
City, State: West Bloomfield, MI

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Sheryl Hauk was nominated by Suzanne Lauerman, the parent of a student.

Carnegie Hall, Gold Company, Holiday Nights at Greenfied Village, The MMC conference...these are just a few of the countless vocal competitions and opportunities beyond high school that have been afforded to students. It's all thanks to Mrs. Hauk's commitment to excellence and constant drive to showcase the vocal talent her district has to offer. Not only does she direct the four amazing choirs at her high school, but she has taken on the responsibility of Fine Arts Coordinator for the district. Wherever there is music in West Bloomfield School District, you will see Mrs. Hauk.

"This is my fourth year as a 'choir mom,' and after witnessing the extraordinary effort and love Mrs. Hauk puts into her teaching, I felt she was the perfect candidate to receive the LifeChanger award," Lauerman said. "Although significant, it's not just about her achievements with choirs and counting the awards and performances. It goes much deeper."

"Some years ago after chaperoning a trip to Carnegie Hall I realized that Mrs. Hauk is more than just a choir teacher. After watching the kids turn to her for comfort with nervous faces and shaky hands, many telling me she is like a second mom to them, I realized she is something unique. She is a constant that so many students need." Lauerman explained.

Some kids come to school with a happy, easy back story, but many kids don't. Their story is more complicated. Students often need someone in the school who makes them feel like they belong there, someone who makes them want to get up and come to school.

When students enter the choir program, Mrs. Hauk is there for them, regardless of their musical ability. She becomes a daily constant, an advocate who gives students structure, expectations, goals, and support. She creates an environment that welcomes all students, and the result is watching a group of kids with so many different back stories bond together and become a family through music.

"For four years, they are able to grow together, sharing their musical journey, but also their personal one. It is a beautiful thing to witness," Lauerman said. "It is because of Mrs. Hauk that my son, a senior now, has the courage to venture into Music Studies beyond high school."

"After countless naysayers telling him that music is a hobby, not a career, he began to question his passion. From day one, Mrs. Hauk understood my son's need for music. She has mentored him and provided him with opportunities well beyond what one would expect at the high school level," Lauerman said. "From student pit director to student vocal conductor to choral department accompanist, she has taught him to maximize his musical potential and lead others. Because she believes in him, he believes in himself. This is what Sheryl Hauk does. This is who Sheryl Hauk is, a LifeChanger."

Comments (21)

Richard Clock Posted over a year ago

I am very proud of my daughter, Sheri !

Kim weder Posted over a year ago

Sheryl is an amazing women. She is strong, talented, hardworking, Accomplished, and has a big heart. I have no doubt she is an amazing teacher. I am her cousin, and I know what kind of person she is. Everything she does,she does with heart and soul. She cares about everyone, everything, and especially her students. I am honored to be part of her family and support her in this well deserved nomination..

Tracey Michalak Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Hauk was my piano teacher from 1997-2003. During those six years, she helped me develop my piano skills and prepare to study music education and piano performance at the college level. In addition, she was a great mentor to me during my teenage years. I have very fond memories of talking to Mrs. Hauk during my piano lessons about school, friends, and the future. She was always supportive and encouraging of me, and I am so thankful to have had her in my life as I navigated through high school. Fast forward ten years and I now have the privilege of working beside Mrs. Hauk in the West Bloomfield School District. Last year, I was hired to teach music at one of the elementary schools in the same district where she teaches choir at the high school. As soon as I was hired, she spent countless hours with me preparing my classroom and advocating to get new instruments for my students. She attended all of my concerts last year, in addition to directing her own performances and attending most of the other district music performances as well. Her passion for high quality music education and doing what is right for kids is evident in all she says and does. In addition, she speaks of her music students with such care and devotion that it inspires me to be a better educator of my own students. It is an honor to have learned from Mrs. Hauk as a young person and now to get to teach with her as an adult. She has definitely changed my life for the better and the lives of countless other people as well. Sheryl Hauk is truly deserving of the title of Life Changer of the Year!

Olivia Bowyer Posted over a year ago

I had the pleasure of being Mrs. Hauk's student in the WBHS Choral Program from 2014-2018. Through the 4 challenging, strengthening, and life-changing years, she pushed me to become more than I thought possible. Not only is Mrs. Hauk a phenomenal teacher in an academic setting, but she is astoundingly wise when it comes to guiding her students through every other challenge they are faced with. Her office has been (and continues to be) a safe space for anyone who really just needs someone to listen. In high school I had the pleasure of being involved in multiple ensembles Mrs. Hauk directed and my experiences from each are what fueled me to continue studying music at a collegiate level. While in high school, Mrs. Hauk opened up doors to opportunities I could never have dreamt of (like performing at Carnegie Hall, participating in MSVMA All-State Honors Choirs, being involved in the first ever MSVMA All-State Jazz Honors Choir, performing at Gold Company Jazz Festival, and so many countless others..) I don't say this to brag, but I include those experiences to point out the extensive connections Mrs. Hauk has made in the world of music and education that she includes her students in, pushing them out of their comfort zones and leading them to amazing growth. Mrs. Hauk mentored me and was someone I could always count on to tell me what needed to be said, and her excellence in that regard is demonstrated constantly by how her students light up when they see her. She led my graduating class through some very difficult losses, and I am so grateful for the constant love she shows every life she touches. Along with mentoring me emotionally, Mrs. Hauk also pushed me to new heights in a leadership capacity. I was able to serve alongside her on the Choral Executive Board my senior year of high school, and seeing how much work went in to every little operation of the department made me appreciate her work ethic even more. Learning leadership from the woman herself was an opportunity I will not soon forget. The chances she gives students to develop their voices (both musically and as leaders) is something that I think strengthens our entire school's population. I very deeply care for Mrs. Hauk and aspire to be half the woman she is. She is an absolute gift to everyone she meets, and I am thrilled to see her being acknowledged in this way.

Jennifer Newman Posted over a year ago

Ms. Hauk is a passionate educator. She creates an amazing community in her classroom and is a master at creating a team, while still paying close attention to each student individually. She cares deeply for students on a personal level and creates a safe learning environment for students to take risks and grow. I am thrilled to have her teach one hour at my small early college. I am tremendously proud to have a daughter in her amazing Chamber Choir. Students become better musicians and better humans by working with Ms. Hauk. I hope she never retires. :)

Carol Finkelstein Posted over a year ago

I have known Mrs. Hauk for 7 years, primarily in my role as a member of the Board of Education, but also as a parent. Mrs. Hauk is an outstanding educator with a long, proven record of professional excellence. She adheres to high ethical and moral standards, she always promotes a positive culture and pride and is highly respected in our schools and community. Mrs. Hauk demonstrates exemplary leadership at West Bloomfield High School and as the District Fine Arts Coordinator. In her role as a mentor to young educators, it is clear that she enjoys watching them grow and succeed. She selflessly ensures that her peers and mentees receive respect and recognition for their hard work. She attends their performances to applaud their success, even purchasing flowers for them out of her own pocket. She promotes collaboration and team work. This isn't a job for her, music education is a driving force in her life. She takes pride in her work, and it shows. Mrs. Hauk has opened doors and provided students with opportunities that they had only dreamed of – to sing the National Anthem at professional sporting events, performing within the community and at Carnegie Hall, just to name a few. I am privileged to know Mrs. Hauk. She has my admiration and respect. She is truly a life changer.

Christian Kolo Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Hauk is someone who truly understands what it means to be a great teacher, friend, and human being. From my studies with her she is countlessly devoted her time to helping student and forwarding their education and well-being as people. I would not be the person I am today if it were not for her dedication and hard work within the music department at West Bloomfield High School. Her AP music theory class was the first time I was able to learn how to write music, and since then I have now gone on to receive both a bachelor's and Master's in composition at Michigan State University and the University of Southern California. I owe so much of My Success to her initial teaching and inspiration. With this being said, I probably recommend the nomination of Sheryl Hauk and pray that she receives all that she deserves!

Brooke Bain Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Hauk has never ceased to amaze me with her passion for music, dedication to teaching, and determined work ethic. I had the honor of having Mrs. Hauk as my choir director throughout my four years at West Bloomfield High School, but she is the kind of person who you continue to learn from every single day. She helped me to find my voice and rediscover why music means so much to me. While I am pursing a career in medicine here at Michigan State University, I still take the time to visit Mrs. Hauk and her choir classes with my college a cappella group, State of Fifths. It is the perfect way for me to share our music with students who sit now where I once was and it gives me all the more reason to remember my roots, a value that I have learned from both Mrs. Hauk and from my Fifths family. I knew that I couldn't leave my love for music behind when I left for college and Mrs. Hauk helped me to see that. While in her class, I was constantly working on my craft and she was there every step of the way to guide and support me. For every single Solo and Ensemble adjudication, she was there in the room with me to cheer me on. Every time I was accepted to sing as a part of the Michigan Youth Arts Festival or even something as simple as singing the National Anthem at various WBHS sporting events, she was always there and never once let me down. Mrs. Hauk nominated me for the Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall where I was able to perform on that beautiful stage in NYC where only the best of the best are lucky enough to tread and share their passions from. She believed in me and that was more than I could ever ask for. She gave me opportunities to have leadership roles and learn real life skills about how to work with people. I was more than proud to be our choral departments first ever student Vice President and female President during my junior and senior years of high school. Before I graduated, she humbly awarded me with the National School Choral Award, the highest honor for any high school choral performer. The plaque with my name on it stands proudly both in my home and in the choir wing at WBHS. I will never be able to thank her enough for her nomination; it was humbling and even more rewarding to be reminded that she was proud of me. She strives to make the most of everyone's experiences and does absolutely everything in her power to show people just how much they shine. At times when I didn't believe in myself, she was always there to remind me that she believed in me and that I was more than I was giving myself credit for... a mindset that continues to inspire me each day. It is a beautiful thing to see my younger sister now in choir with Mrs. Hauk. She is having the time of her life just as I did. Like I was, Jess is in Laker Express, she was the Vice President and is now a proud President of the department during her senior year. Mrs. Hauk has given her these roles of leadership, the same that she gave me and those of which have molded the very basis of my character. I cannot imagine my life without Mrs. Hauk. The lessons she has taught me, my sister, and all of those lucky enough to know her are simply priceless; I cannot think of a better example of someone who has changed my life for the better.

Jasleen Randhawa Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Hauk has had a great influence in making me who I am today. I had the pleasure of being one of her students between 2007-2011. She is a passionate educator who cares for each and every one of her students as they try to find themselves and face the challenges of high school. Not only does she teach her students about music but, she uses it to develop key life skills like leadership, creativity, and self-confidence. From first hand experience, I remember walking into Mrs. Hauk's all girls chorale my freshman year of high school with little knowledge about music or what I wanted to do while I was in high school and beyond. Through Mrs. Hauk, I found my voice, pushed through challenges, and created a passion for music that has helped me grow into a strong, adventurous woman. It was because of her I tried new things like solo ensemble, joined the Laker Express, and participated in the school's musicals in unique/challenging roles - these are things I would have never chose to do without Mrs. Hauk's encouragement. I have carried these skills on with me throughout my life and continue to find ways to stay connected to music & singing. Mrs. Hauk definitely creates a sense of family within the classroom and outside among her students. Some of my nearest and dearest friends have come out of her classes. Mrs. Hauk herself also continues to keep in touch through all of the key life events - big moves, new jobs, engagements, etc. like any true family member would. She has my respect and I will always be thankful for the things I have learned through her and hope that many other students are able to share a similar experience from her classroom. Sending lots of love Mrs. Hauk and wish you all the best for your future successes. Thank you for everything!

Lamont Davis Posted over a year ago

I have had the honor of being Mrs. Hauks student to this very day, but officially all 4 years of my high school career. From my very first jump start at WBHS she challenged me to step out of my comfort, to discover that in discomfort I would grow and develop the most. For me, her impact was in her action of how she went out of her way to be more than a choir teacher. She work to build a genuine relationship and understand who I was as a student. Learning what goals I had for myself and how to craft my personal goals with my choir goals. She always pushed for me to be humble yet hungry, encouraging me my senior year to become President of the Choral Department. She is also a caregiven and guardian. She supported me as a student throughout my high school years when I had many personal struggles in my life. Always checking in on me as well as making sure I was able to be included in our Laker Express events. Mrs. Hauks pioneers community within the Choral depatment, giving students a voice through their voices. Even though I have been out of her classroom for almost 5 years now. I wouldn't hesitate to assist a student from her program or the program itself.

REBECCA L TILLERY Posted over a year ago

I have known Sheryl Hauk since she was a child. As an older teenager at the time, I took the young Sheryl under my wing. Over time the age difference grew into two adult and equal friends. Now some 45 plus years later, I am humbled by the kind, loving, strong, intelligent, overwhelming committed and driven woman she became. Sheryl and I spend as much time as possible together when she returns to her home state of Hawaii. I have very clearly witnessed her absolute total commitment to her students. Even though she is thousands of miles away she ensures that her students can reach her at any time 24/7. I have asked her why she doesn't turn off her phone. With the smile of true love and absolute commitment for each student she tells me she always wants to be there for them, no matter what. I have heard her heartbreak when a student is hurting and her tremendous joy for students' success both academically and emotionally. I have truly never seen such commitment. Sheryl is truly a LifeChanger. My respect and admiration for her as a person and teacher is beyond expression.

McKenna Murphy Posted over a year ago

I had the absolute honor of being Mrs. Hauk’s student from 2014-2018. Mrs. Hauk has done so much for me. She has taught me incredibly valuable skills in relation to music, life, and humanity. I am currently pursuing Music Education at Central Michigan University, and all of the countless musical skills she has taught me have come in handy more times than I could count. In addition, Mrs. Hauk helped me to foster my passion for music, and has inspired me to use music to help and teach others like she does every single day. The precious memories that took place in her classroom making music under her guidance keep me going whenever I have moments when I struggle with what I am pursuing, which happens quite a lot for music majors. Mrs. Hauk has also been by my side through losing quite a few people over the duration of my high school career. We both lost people that we knew and had been close to, and we came together and supported eachother constantly as a result. She kept me grounded and supported me during many hard times and challenges that I faced, and is still there for me today. In addition, Mrs. Hauk has given me many lessons on what it is to be human, and what we can do to share, celebrate, and create in this life. She had done this in relation to music, as well as simply living and enjoying life. This aspect is one of the most valuable aspects I take away from my short four years with her. Mrs. Hauk has had such an impact on my life, and continues to have an impact. I think about and appreciate her countless teachings and words of wisdom everyday. She is a huge mentor, support system, and dare I say friend to me. She has touched my life, and has done so for countless other students and people who have the pleasure of knowing her. She is such a thoughtful, caring, brave, and intelligent woman who I truly look up to. Mrs. Hauk has changed my life and helped me in so many ways, and for that I am forever thankful. So Mrs. Hauk, Thank you, and can’t wait to see you soon. Much Love.

Carolyn Martinez Golojuch Posted over a year ago

Three cheers for one awesome woman, teacher and activist! She supports Rape Suvivors. She’s outstanding because so many are in the closet. Her support let’s other Survivors that is ok and water is healthy. This is also life Changing and life giving! Bravo!

Julia Fantich Posted over a year ago

I am a former student of Mrs. Hauk, from 2011-2015, and I am currently a Music Education Major at college. Mrs. Hauk has absolutely influenced my career choice. She teaches her students proper singing techniques, how to read and understand music, and how to work well with others, but that is only a small fraction of what she contributes to her students’ education. She also teaches her students leadership skills, responsibility, self confidence, empathy, and the importance of being inclusive. I was a very shy and anxious teenager and did not feel comfortable in most social situations and Mrs. Hauk was very receptive to this and helped me feel safe and confident around my peers. Mrs. Hauk is one of the strongest women I know and I have always admired her perserverance. When her personal life was difficult, she still came to class everyday and gave all of her students 100% of her energy, time, and patience. She let us know that music would always be there for us, as it had for her, whether or not we chose a career in music. I believe that she has influenced every single one of her students in some way or another, and that is a what makes her an amazing teacher. I am blessed to have been her student, and I value everything she has taught me. I hope to one day be a great music teacher like she is.

Linda Witulski Posted over a year ago

Sheryl Hauk is an excellent teacher and role model. Her musical accomplishments speak for themselves, and her ability to bring the best out in students regardless of skill level is unsurpassed. As many of the other parents have commented... students learn about the responsibilities of being part of a team and how to represent their organization in a professional way. Having been at all the concerts and many of the competitions, I was always proud of how our team conducted themselves. Being a teacher that cares deeply and changes lives every day would be enough to lead the category of life changers. However, it’s not until you get beneath the surface of who Sheryl Hauk is, that you can truly appreciate what being a life changer means. Coming from an especially difficult childhood, it is not only amazing that she is able to reach out and help develop kids in a life changing way, it is when you understand that with her unbelievably busy schedule, she is driven to help right the wrongs of the world in another state. Hawaii is forever changed because of her willingness, at a great personal risk to change the world for young women and men everywhere. My life has been forever changed because of crossing paths with Sheryl Hauk. She inspires me and others to step out of our day to day lives and reach to make a lasting impact.

Austin Williams Posted over a year ago

I had the pleasure of being taught and mentored by Mrs. Hauk for 3.5 years. Not only did she teach me Music outside of your main genres. She taught me how to be a good person. The only thing Mrs. Hauk loves more than Music is her students. She always stressed how important being happy was, if you ever needed to talk to her about anything all you had to do was walk in, no appointment needed. She made the class feel less like a choir and more like a family. After being taught by Mrs. Hauk it allowed me to enhance my talents as far as I could which led to doors being opened for me in music that I could never imagine.A lot of times when I’m out singing or having a musical conversation with someone and they ask “where did you learn to do that” I can just smile and say, “Mrs. Hauk”. Music is love, but so is Mrs. Hauk

Joseph Trate Posted over a year ago

I was Mrs. Hauk's student from 2011-2015. During my High school career, she not only taught me music but also valuable life skills like timeliness, organization, management, how to teach, and how to interact with others in a positive, healthy way. Whether in the classroom, or outside of school hours she was always willing and able to help students. Sheri fostered an educational community that was not just a department, but a family where I found a home during a difficult transitional period to adulthood. Moreover, Mrs. Hauk made the time to allow me to independent study with her for two full years, going far beyond the the expectations of the school to help me grow as a musician and person. I can say that she has undoubtedly touched the lives of hundreds if not thousands of students over many years, and has permanently changed many of them, including mine, for the better.

Rochelle (Shelley) Barr Posted over a year ago

I have been a professional accompanist for many many years. My primary job as accompanist for the Vocal Music Dept. was at Southfield Lathrup H.S. I later transfered to Southfield High where I remained until my retirement. During those years, and after retirement I accompanied Vocal Music classes at : Berkley, Birmingham,Bloomfield Hills, Detroit Country Day, Marianne, and Sacred Heart, so I am well aware of "teaching" vocal music. In 2012, I received an emergency call from Sheryl to play for her Winter Concert, as her accompanist had "finked out" on her. I took on the job and spent the next 5 years (GRATIS) as I was so impressed by her and her teachings. Hours, ability,& knowledge have NO limit to do what ever it takes to make her students succeed. She is certainly deserving of this award. She is a "Life Changer"............................................................Mine as well.

Brandon Webster Posted over a year ago

I’ve had the pleasure of being a student of Mrs. Hauk for 2 years, this being my second year. I had signed up for the class since I knew I used to like to sing, but I hadn’t even touched sheet music since 7th grade. From the very start (of a 7am class) she has exuded this sense of experience and comfort that I have found in few teachers. She is willing to go above and beyond for me, and my fellow students time and time again. Something small, but incredibly huge for me, is how understanding she is for her students. I don’t have a great track record of being on time to class in the morning, for example, but she’s never gotten mad. She just makes sure that it’s not due to something serious, and then continues class. Ensuring throughout that I don’t fall behind, which isn’t easy since I’m not a super naturally gifted person. But her consistent amiable attitude and compassion when teaching us really helps my fellow classmates and I learn the music, and be prepared (or as prepared as you can be with choir) to perform. Overall she has seriously made a difference in my life, even though I’ve only known her a relatively short time. Thank you.

Patricia Beaujon Posted over a year ago

As if taking care of a hundred or so of her own students isn't enough, Shari also "adopted" my student. I had an exchange student from Hamburg, Germany, Tine, who was in the choir at Bloomfield Hills High School with Shari's own son. My family was going out of town at Christmas time, and Tine still had a concert to perform with her choir with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. I didn't want Tine to miss out on such an opportunity, so Shari took her in for a week (during the busiest time for Shari's own choir too).. After the concert, Tine was supposed to join my family for the rest of the holidays. However, she because really ill, too ill to travel. So Shari adopted her for another week and made her feel a true part of the family for the Christmas Holidays. Tine really appreciated having another "mom" when she was so sick and far away from her own family. After that, Shari and her family became a second American family to Tine. Shari continued to mentor Tine in her musical interests giving her free vocal lessons, and advising her on musical opportunities locally. Tine is just one more student whose life has been impacted by Shari's caring.

Jane Rehbine Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Hauk is a wonderful teacher who turns students who may have never stepped foot in a choir class into beautiful soloists! She loves and cares for her students individually and pays close attention to their needs to fine-tune each voice in her choir.