Straub Middle School Band

Salem-Keizer Public Schools and the Oregon Symphony in Salem are pleased to present the 2021-22 Music Educator of the Year Award.

Nomination and selection process

Since 1990, SKPS has partnered with the Oregon Symphony in Salem to recognize outstanding music educators from the district through this award. The nominees all demonstrate the highest level of commitment to music education.

The process begins with the director of music for SKPS nominating select music educators, from orchestra, band, and choir. A committee comprised of an SKPS representative and a small group of Oregon Symphony in the Salem Advisory Committee reviews the nominations, observes the teachers in their classroom setting, concerts, or other venues, then selects the awardees.

The most recent award was presented in 2020 to Wright Elementary’s Music Director Ariana Recher.

This year’s nominees and award recipient

The nominees for the 2021-22 season were:

  • Jaimie Hall – Straub Middle School
  • Julie Rundquist – Claggett Creek Area Strings
  • Damián Berdakín – South Salem High School

After careful consideration, the Music Educator of the Year award committee selected Jaimie Hall as this year’s award recipient.

Oregon Symphony in Salem concert on May 20

At this season’s final Oregon Symphony in Salem concert on May 20, Jaimie Hall, the 2022 Music Educator of the Year, will be introduced to the audience and presented a plaque, accompanied by a monetary award to be used in support of the recipient’s school music program.

Damian and Julie will also be recognized, and will also receive a monetary prize supporting their school programs.

Anyone is invited to attend the concert. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling the ticket office at 503-228-1353.