Faun Nichols is the Music Educator, Band and Choral Music Director at Sechrist Elementary School.
From the nomination letter:
I have known Mrs. Nichols for over twenty years as an educator. We met while I was one of her students at Northern Arizona University in her Introduction to Music class. I am now her boss! She has taught, tutored, and inspired hundreds of Flagstaff Unified School District for just over a quarter of a century! And now she is known throughout the music community as a true professional that motivates students to apply their musical accomplishments to their educational experiences.
Mrs. Nichols has engaged in providing services to students ranging from high school band to kindergarten graduations. Perhaps her biggest accomplishment is providing the opportunity for students to experience both choir and band when these programs were no longer funded during the school day. She now teaches students in collaboration with the after school program to ensure that her students have the skill set needed as they approach middle school. She spends countless volunteer hours to maintain a rigorous music education that students are proud to be a part of.
The community is very fortunate to have her provide multiple opportunities for her students to preform, and the audience to be entertained. Every year she takes her music students down to Prescott to perform Music for Veterans. In addition, she provides an assembly at her school, where she invites Veterans from throughout the local community to be recognized through an array of patriotic music that her students perform. Many students bring their parents to this that was once part of our military services. Mrs. Nichols is truly a student centered educator who allows her students to be the centerpiece of her programs.
Mrs. Nichols also works in collaboration with various educational organizations to further develop her students. She has her students a part of the New Composer Concert at NAU. In addition, she has her students play alongside the middle schools students in a collaborative concert to present the musical pieces that they acquired throughout the year. Her students are always working towards that next performance.
Several organizations have developed partnerships with Mrs. Nichols that promotes and showcases her students’ abilities. During the holiday season every year the choir and band present a musical program at the local hospital at their tree lighting ceremony. They also provide entertainment for the Dew on the Mountain snowboard and ski event downtown. Additionally, students play and preform at the Sights and Sound exhibition in the Flagstaff Mall.
The amount of programming that Mrs. Nichols provides to her school is enormous. She oversees four major productions a year with her students which include the Wide Mouth Frog, The Gingerbread Man, The Mitten, and The Polar Express! She provides students with the opportunity to exhibit their talents in a talent show as well. Our Grandparents also have the opportunity to experience a musical production on our annual Grandparents Day that is a school tradition. Most importantly, she is very passionate about her love of the arts and does it with a smile!
As a music educator her students are very eager to participate in the weekly music classes she provides. She always incorporates movement, and her classes are highly engaging. She encourages her students to laugh, and always laughs with them, yet maintains command over her class of students at all times. They also demonstrate their abilities with Recorders with a special recorder concert. Lastly, they integrate technology into their curriculum by learning Garage Band and allowing the students’ parents to hear their own compositions!
Mrs. Nichols is so dedicated to her profession that she also teaches students how to read that may struggle. She meets weekly with her colleagues, and has joined several other teachers on units that of high interest to the students such as The Blues. Hence, students at her school are always exposed to the best educational experience that they could be experience at such a young age!