Position: High School Choir/Music/Theater Teacher
School: Griswold High School
School District: Griswold Public Schools
City, State: Griswold, Connecticut
About the Nominee: A 20-year veteran of music education, Raymond Churchill has built a tremendous, well-rounded choral program featuring an annual spring musical that is the highlight of the school year for more than half of the student body and the cultural highlight of the year for the community. Mr. Churchill is, first and foremost, a fantastic teacher who is an expert in theater arts and vocal performance. As a singer, he has a voice that has been featured in theater productions and opera productions in Connecticut. As a teacher, he inspires students every day in his choirs which include close to 200 performers. But, it is the spring musical that sets Mr. Churchill apart from every other music and theater educator in the state. At Griswold High School, the anticipation begins at the start of the school year as the title of the show is announced. The production features over half of the student body - 300 students involved in at least one aspect of the production. The production draws students of all abilities and skills, all backgrounds and learning styles. Mr. Churchill hands over the reins to the students so that the production becomes their own. And, a production it is! The annual show brings the community together like no other activity in the school. Mr. Churchill’s planning ensures that the experience is one students are immensely proud of, one that builds a love of theater – along with commitment, leadership, and the highest standards of excellence. Mr. Churchill is the singular energy behind every student and volunteer who makes this happen. He is a brilliant teacher and a great mentor with exceptional talent. He inspires excellence in his students and provides a venue for students of all abilities to shine and belong.