UMS, DTE Energy name Bach music teacher Teacher of the Year

Kristi Bishop hugs Omari Rush after learning she was named Teacher of the Year by the University Musical Society and the DTE Energy Foundation.
Kristi Bishop hugs Omari Rush after learning she was named Teacher of the Year by the University Musical Society and the DTE Energy Foundation.

Feb. 11, 2014

By Tara Cavanaugh

Kristi Bishop thought she was going to a typical staff meeting a few weeks ago on Jan. 30. But little did she know the meeting was a ruse, set up to gather her with staff for a big surprise: in the middle of the meeting, Bishop discovered she earned an award for Teacher of the Year.

The award was presented by Omari Rush and Jim Leija, who work for the University of Michigan’s University Musical Society as Director of Engagement and Community Education and Education Manager, respectively. The two presented the award on behalf of UMS and the DTE Energy Foundation.

Bishop was given a Bravo cookbook, the UMS documentary “A Space for Music, A Seat for Everyone: 100 Years of UMS Performances at Hill Auditorium,” and two field trips plus transportation for her students next year to a UMS School Day Series performance. UMS will also connect Bishop with a UMS performing artist to visit her classroom next year.
Bishop will accept her award for Teacher of the Year at the 19th Annual Ford Honors Gala on March 30. At the gala, Washtenaw Technical Middle College will also accept its award for School of the Year.

When Bishop first found out she earned the award at the Jan. 30 staff meeting, she was floored. “I have the most supportive staff to work with and they give me lots of inspiration and flexibility to try things,” she said. “Thanks, everybody, for your support!”

Bach Elementary staff congratulate Kristi Bishop.
Bach Elementary staff congratulate Kristi Bishop.

Bishop was nominated by AAPS Fine Arts Coordinator Robin Bailey, Leija said. “(Bailey) pinpointed Bishop’s work as being exceptional and special, and also acknowledged that she’s not necessarily someone who draws a lot of attention to herself but should be honored and should be a model for others.” Bishop is well-known for being an enthusiastic teacher who crafts lessons that integrate the arts with other subjects, such as social studies and science.

“UMS is  very pleased to honor Bach Elementary School’s Kristi Bishop for her commitment to music education and her creative approach,” said UMS President Ken Fischer. “Through her efforts, Ms. Bishop has enriched the lives of her students and taught them new ways to understand, interpret, and communicate the core curriculum through the arts. We are also very grateful for the DTE Energy DTE Energy Foundation School & Educator of the Year Foundation’s renewed commitment to UMS and its recognition of the value and excellence of UMS’s artistic and educational endeavors.”

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  1. CONGRATULATIONS Kristi!! We at Bach have always known how awesome you are! Now everyone knows!!
    So proud of you :0)

  2. Kristi BIshop is a wonderful teacher and colleague. Her creativity, enthusiasm and professionalism is a model for all of us! I am so happy she is being recognized with this well deserved award!

  3. We always felt so privileged that our two kids had you as their music teacher through their years at Bach. Such a deserved recognition!!

  4. I am not surprised a bit, Kristi. Everyone in the Burns Park Players from a dozen years ago remembers your talent, skill, enthusiasm, and professionalism.

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