In a conclusion to his 44 years as a public school educator, Niceville High School Choral Director Michael Dye has been named the 2020 Florida Secondary Music Educator of the Year by the Florida Music Education Association.
Dye came to NHS in 1990. He will retire from his education career at the end of this school year.
He was elected the school’s Teacher of the Year in 2004 and he was a runner-up to the Okaloosa County Teacher of the Year.
His Niceville choirs have earned a state-high 18 Choirs of Distinction awards. Under his leadership, more than 500 students made all-state singers.
Having put two children through his chorus program, I know the reason for Dye’s recognition: He is a teacher first and a director second.
I recall when another parent questioned the wisdom of keeping a disruptive student in the chorus. Dye allowed the student to stay, explaining that music may be the path to the student’s success.
Dye has seen several of his students continue their singing into their adult careers.
“I do not know how many of my former students are now directors,” he said in an email. “There are at least a dozen or so.
“I also have a bunch of pro or semi-pro vocalists out there performing from Broadway to Sunday morning,” he continued. “Nick Ward has done all of us proud. He is in ‘Frozen’ on Broadway. Melissa Whitworth is singing and performing at Disney and around central Florida. Edward Washington is performing with the chorus at the Met.”
Dye will the award at January’s Florida Music Education Association’s 2020 Convention.
Students played “victims” of an explosion as they participated in a mass casualty exercise at Sacred Heart Hospital.
The students, enrolled in Tyra Forcha’s South Walton High School certified nursing assistant and in emergency medical responder career and technical education classes, worked with paramedics, EMTs, nurses, doctors and the team at Emerald Coast Health Coalition.
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