Scottsbluff Public Schools is proud to announce that district-wide Orchestra Instructor Ashley Hillman has received the Nebraska Unit of the American String Teachers Association (NeASTA) Teacher of the Year Award.
In her seven years as Orchestra Instructor, the program has grown from 26 K-12 students to 180 students- with another 80 “in-waiting” as part of our Violin Sprouts program.
Hillman initiated a partnership with Concordia University in 2015 where Concordia came and performed with Scottsbluff students on the Western Nebraska Community College campus.
Last year, she organized a distance learning project with the Omaha Symphony and they came and performed in Scottsbluff with our orchestra. Hillman also did an internship with Anne Nagosky from University of Nebraska-Omaha and they have organized children’s concerts together at the local Midwest Theater.
Scottsbluff Schools string players have performed with Zoe Keating, Tracy Silverman and other artists during their traveling concert series stop in Scottsbluff. This year her cello players are performing with the Portland Cello Project.
“What Ashley Hillman has done for strings instruction and our orchestra program here in Scottsbluff is miraculous,” said Rick Myles, SBPS Superintendent. “Kids love her and when you watch her, it’s easy to know why. There is one reason why we have this kind of opportunity for kids in western Nebraska and her name is Ashley Hillman. She’s amazing!”
Since 1990, the Nebraska Unit of the American String Teachers Association has recognized two outstanding string/orchestra teachers in Nebraska by presenting an annual award to one school orchestra director and one private studio teacher.
These teachers are nominated by colleagues or administration. The executive board then forms a committee and chooses who will get recognized. Teachers so honored are awarded with a plaque and pictures in the NeASTA newsletter.