Position: Music Teacher
School: Hoboken Charter School
School District: Hoboken Charter School
City, State: Hoboken, New Jersey
About the Nominee: Sean Gavarny was nominated by Valerie Sessa, the parent of a student. Mr. Gavarny, a Grammy Teacher of the Year quarterfinalist, teaches general music to Hoboken Charter School students in kindergarten through fourth grade, as well as instrumental music to students in fourth through eighth grade. He enters the middle school students (5th-8th) in band contests. In one of the contests, his students won the opportunity to perform on stage at Carnegie Hall. He also teaches a variety of music electives that students can select to take in 5th through 8th grade. Additionally, Mr. Gavarny serves as the Drama Club advisor, directs the school musicals and leads a number of after school musical opportunities, including jazz band. Every year, his classes and after-school clubs come together for two K-8 concerts, which he produces. Finally, he participates in a "camp" during winter break and summer.
Mr. Gavarny, also known as "Mr. G," instills the love of music in HCS students, whether it be voice or instrumental. He sets high standards for the students that are reflected through high quality and very enjoyable concerts twice a year. Students learn far more than music from him; they also learn grit and dedication. As one example, Ms. Sessa's child began playing the saxophone in 4th grade. With Mr. G's support, guidance and demand for practice hours, they learned that practicing a little each day leads to a drastic improvement in their performance. In addition, they grew to enjoy playing the sax as well. They've been able to take that learning and apply it to other areas of their life. They've learned that persistence and a little practice each day leads to large strides in anything they want to tackle. Ms. Sessa's youngest child is already putting those lessons to work herself - on their own instrument (the clarinet) and in their own life.