Music Educator of the Year Awards

It is important to recognize arts educators.

Nominations for 2023 are now closed. Thank you for taking the time to recogize the educators of Stark County!

This award recognizes public, private, and parochial Music Educators in the region served by the Stark County Educational Service Center who have positively impacted their students and communities, and who have shown great dedication to the field of Music Education. The winner of this award will receive a $500 check.

Nominees must be licensed Music Educators in a public, private or parochial school classroom setting in Grades K-12, in the region served by the Stark County Educational Service Center.  Educators from all fields of Music are eligible. The honored Educators will be selected from a field of five finalists chosen by a panel of qualified judges from the community.  All nominees will be recognized at the presentation. Former recipients of the award are not eligible to win in consecutive years.

Anyone can nominate a Music Educator for the award.  Nomination forms are available in person through the Stark County Educational Service Center (email Tom Piccari at and here on the Canton Symphony Orchestra website. Nominations for 2023 are now closed. The nomination form for 2024 will be uploaded in the fall. 

Information for our partner Arts Educator of the Year Award can be found at the MassMu and the Canton Museum of Art’s websites.

Music Educator Nomination Form
2024 Form Coming Soon


2023: Melanie Mesmer – North Canton City Schools

2022: Ron Varn – North Canton City Schools

2021: Susan Cook – Marlington Local Schools

2020: Rich Kibler – Lake Local Schools

2019: Linda Davis – Perry Local Schools

2018: Brian Kieffer – Plain Local Schools

2017: Elizabeth Barkan – Fairless Local Schools