Position: Director of Performing Arts
School: Brent Elementary School
School District: District of Columbia Public Schools
City, State: Washington, District of Columbia
About the Nominee: During his six years of teaching in the District of Columbia Public Schools, Joshua Krohn has had a measurable impact on the communities he's served in numerous ways. The first way he has measured his impact is through his students' desire to learn music with him. Before Mr. Krohn came to Brent Elementary School, students had a very hard time wanting to learn the material that others were presenting to them. This was attributed to their emotional detachment to what the performing arts could offer as well as their previous negative experiences with learning the arts. As a result, those students would lash out at classmates and teachers and disrupt lessons. For each year Mr. Krohn has been an educator at Brent, he has managed to have over 95% of the students performing in concerts. Students throughout Brent have begun to understand the joys of music education, have gotten over their fear of failure and have become much better musicians as well as academic students.
Mr. Krohn's students began showing interest in more musical experiences than what his regular class could offer. He began a drama and dance club, a guitar club and a recorder club. These clubs take place before and after school, with more than 75% of the student population attending rehearsals. His greatest rewards come from the students who tell him that he is their favorite teacher. They come from past students visiting his classroom just because they miss music class. They come from parents and community members sending him videos and pictures of their children enjoying the performing arts at home and in the community. They come from parents of students with learning difficulties, who tell him that their children can’t succeed anywhere except when it comes to the performing arts. Mr. Krohn instills a true love, passion, and commitment to the performing arts in every child that has walked into his classroom. Regardless of gender, color, race, ethnicity, age, or disability, his students have left his room happier, more knowledgeable, and more excited to show off their new-found passion for the performing arts.
This is the second year that Mr. Krohn has been nominated for LifeChanger of the Year. He was previously nominated in 2015-2016.