Band Directors of the Year

Seaman Band Directors Named Among Best in State
Posted on 12/07/2021
Two Seaman School District music teachers have been announced as 2021 NEKMEA High School and Middle School Band Directors of the Year. The two received the awards at the district mini-convention hosted at Seaman High School on Saturday, December 4, 2021.

Cary Stahly has worked at Seaman High School since 1998. It’s his second time winning the award.

“He’s just very well-known across the state, as well as his district, he’s been the state jazz chair,” NEKMEA President Damian Johnson said about Stahly. “He does a wonderful job with everything he does."

Stahly and Ryan Simpson said they are honored by the awards, as they are chosen by fellow music teachers in the state. Simpson has been teaching for 25 years, this being his 17th in the district.

"While I don’t know a single teacher that does the job for the accolades, it’s nice to receive recognition from colleagues that I admire and respect. Using music to help young people navigate their world while developing character and life skills is a real blessing,” Simpson said.

Stahly said it’s a great feeling to see students learn something new.

“Teaching is very satisfying, it gives me goals,” Stahly said. "Every day is different and that’s how I can continue doing this for all these years.”

The awards are given to experienced band teachers where their school’s music program has improved or has been consistently good.

"Mr. Stahly provides his band students with excellent experiences in competition and performance, building the finest musicians through the experiences in his program,” Seaman High School Principal Laura Lyons said. “He understands the delicate balance between holding students to high standards and supporting them in reaching their highest potential as musicians and fine people”

"His classroom is a place where students feel seen and encouraged. He builds intentional relationships. You can see his students' excitement for learning and passion for instrumental music.” Seaman Middle School Principal Joshua Snyder said. "There is no doubt he loves what he does.”