The New Hampshire Department of Education recently named Heidi Welch ’96, director of music at Hillsboro-Deering High School, the state’s Teacher of the Year. According to the Department of Ed’s website, “The selection committee recognized her passion for education, the excitement she brings to the classroom, and her ability to reach every student. She possesses boundless commitment to support and guide the successes of her students. She realizes that literacy is the key to being truly free and strives to engage students in this pursuit through music. Literacy through music means that her students study American history in the context of the music of people’s lives and the times, that students read the plays to which they are performing the scores, and that reading is fundamental but literacy means so much more.”
In addition to chorus, a cappella choir, and concert band, Heidi teaches courses in musical theater, music theory, American history through music, film music, and guitar. She has also musically directed a number of shows and has recently acted with the Not Your Mom’s Musical Theater company performing the roles of Susan in Title of Show and Abby in Musical of Musicals the Musical.
And did we mention she is a KSC alum? “Keene State was the right college at the right time for me,” Heidi explained. “The Music Department was small enough to bring me the family atmosphere and connection that I needed at the time, and the faculty was tremendously supportive. Doug Nelson, William Pardus, José Lescano, Hubert Bird, Carroll Lehmann, Gladys Johnson, and many others helped to shape me into a teacher. Vaughn West (though not in music ed, but theater) taught me to think outside the box, and Nona Fienberg taught me how to examine the written word at another level. I am a proud alumna of Keene State College.”
If you want to see Heidi in action, she’ll be bringing Hillsboro-Deering High School’s Red, White, and A Cappella choir to the Redfern on Friday, October 26, as part of the annual Cantate! High School Choral Festival. “My a cappella choir has been part of the annual Cantate! Festival for the past three years, and it has been a pleasure to attend,” Heidi said. “I love going back on campus and seeing all of the amazing changes that have happened! The campus looks beautiful.”
If you’d like to read more about this amazing teacher, check out the article the Concord Monitor did on her.