BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — One Bay District School Band Teacher is making big strides in the music world.
Michelle Birdwell of Mowat Middle School has received an extremely prestigious award from the Florida Bandmasters Association.
She says this was something she never expected, but is so grateful for the opportunity.
“It’s an honor, a huge honor to be recognized,” said Birdwell.
Birdwell has been teaching at Mowat Middle School for 11 years and has spent 20 years in total serving Bay District Students.
The award recognizes one teacher with consistent, superior performance, exemplary teaching during their career, and service to music students. Her students couldn’t agree more on the decision.
“We love you Mrs. Birdwell!” many of her students shouted.
Nominated by her peers, she received the Oliver Hobbs Award this week.
“When I first heard about it, I’m extremely honored and humbled by this. When I first heard about it, it was an ugly cry because I was shocked!” said Birdwell.
Mrs. Birdwell is the first recipient to ever receive this award in Bay District Schools history.
“It is one of the highest awards that the Florida Bandmasters Association gives, and I’m really honored to be a recipient,” said Birdwell.
She attributing much of her success to her students.
“It’s the kids. I cant do what I do and what I love to do without them. They’re the ones that make it possible.” said Birdwell.
She is one of 49 out of the thousands of band directors in history to receive this award.
“It’s been very surreal, it took a long time for it to settle in and be like okay this is really happening,” said Birdwell.
Although there was no reception for the award due to COVID-19, she says she is still looking for a spot in her house for the award.
From here Mrs. Birdwell plans to continue teaching band to students here locally for as long as she can.