NEW BLOOMFIELD, Mo. -- A New Bloomfield music teacher recently received statewide recognition at the annual Missouri Music Educators Association Conference.
Hailee Kaestner, music teacher at the New Bloomfield R-3 School District, received the David B. Goodwin Outstanding Young Music Educator award.
According to MMEA's website, the goal of this award is "to recognize and acknowledge outstanding teaching of one or more young music educators who have shown extraordinary promise, diligence, and success."
One of the criteria to qualify for David B. Goodwin Outstanding Young Music Educator award is to have completed at least three years of teaching, but no more than seven years.
Kaestner has been a music teacher in the New Bloomfield School District for three years. During her undergraduate, she was the band and choir director at Springfield Seventh-Day Adventist Junior Academy in Springfield.
At New Bloomfield, Kaestner teaches a variety of courses. Eighth- to 12th-grade band, sixth-grade band, seventh-grade band, jazz band, high school choir and a ukulele class are all courses taught by her.
Kaestner said it felt surreal to win this award.
"It felt very validating," Kaestner said. "I mean, as teachers, you put a lot in and you don't always see the lasting results."
She said she has seen her students grow and become better musicians during her time teaching at New Bloomfield.
Kaestner said seeing the students grow has been her favorite part of being a music teacher.
"Honestly for me, it felt like I'm in the right position," she said. "That everything I'm doing is everything I wanna be doing. I always say I have the best job ever and that totally makes sense, and getting nominated and winning that award really validated that yes, I do love what I do and I'm not bad at it."