Natrona County School District is excited to announce Natrona County High School Choral Director Steve Grussendorf has been named one of the 2021 Outstanding Music Educators of the Year by the Wyoming Music Educators Association! The Wyoming Music Educators Association honors Music Educators each year who serve their students, schools, and communities in an exemplary way.
Mr. Grussendorf began his music education career in 1985, spending his first four years teaching at nine elementary schools in Natrona County School District. In the fall of 1996, he found his forever teaching home at Natrona County High School.
Inspired to pursue a career in music education by the influential music educators in his life, he recalls being encouraged to conduct his peers in the middle school choir. By providing him this opportunity, his teachers encouraged his love for music and allowed him to find his life's passion.
Honored to receive this tremendous recognition, Steve shared his genuine appreciation for being selected among the many exceptional music educators across the state, “You never expect it. We have so many music educators who do great work, and I thought they should have picked one of them. In a way, it validates what you do, knowing that your colleagues noticed.”
When asked to share some of his fondest memories as a music educator, many exciting opportunities for his students to grow and explore in their passion and love for music come to mind. Through school field-trips, Mr. Grussendorf and his students visited New York City for performance showcases at Carnegie Hall. While there, often students were able to experience the magic of their first Broadway production and much more,
However, one of his favorite memories as a music educator is in the simplicity and beauty of home - the old Auto Shop at Natrona County High School. During renovations at NCHS, the choir classroom moved to the Auto Shop for the school year, presenting many fun and unique challenges in adapting to a new environment not created for musical performance. Not one to step down from a challenge, Mr. Grussendorf used his creativity and diligence to create an exceptional learning environment for his students, making it, in the end, one of his favorite teaching memories.
His passion for teaching is evident; Mr. Grussendorf believes the positivity and commitment towards that passion should fill the hallways of all schools. When students mention to him they’d like to become a teacher someday, Mr. Grussendorf encourages the cultivation of that dedication and passion, “I ask them, is there anything you could think of that you could do (besides teaching) that would make you happier? If they can think of something, I tell them to do that. If they cannot, then I tell them to be a teacher. I think schools should be filled with people passionate about teaching.”
Congratulations, Mr. Steve Grussendorf, on this well-deserved recognition!