K103 and Concordia University are pleased to honor and support outstanding educators making a difference in the lives of students in their schools each month. Congratulations to this month’s honored educator, Cynthia Plank, 6th, 7th & 8th Grade Band Teacher at Beaumont Middle School in Portland, Oregon!
Ms. Plank was nominated by Ginger Johnson and Diana Bianco, who had this to say
Ms. Plank goes above and beyond every day for our children. She is at school 2 hours early every morning to teach band and music to those willing to learn. She has made a huge impact on my son's life as he now knows how to play the trumpet, trombone, tuba, and sousaphone. We are forever grateful for her love of our students.
Cynthia is a remarkably gifted music teacher who runs numerous bands, instills a love of music in kids, and has a deep passion for enabling children to become fantastic musicians.
Congrats, Cynthia, from all of us at K103! Get to know Ms. Plank through her Q&A below.
How many years have you been teaching?
In my 17th year at Beaumont Middle School (her first full time teaching job!)
Why did you choose a teaching career and why music education?
As a high school student, I loved learning new instruments and helping other students with their music. One day it occurred to me that I wanted to be a music teacher. When I told my director that I wanted to be a band teacher, he replied “You know… you will have to go to college and learn how to play all of the instruments…” I knew right then that this was exactly my plan!
Why Middle School students?
I spent a year as a music sub in Eugene before I took the Beaumont job, so I had a chance to work with every age level. After that year, I realized that middle school students are my favorite- they’re goofy and fun and sweet, but you can talk to the inner adult that’s on the way. Every day is a new day with them, and they still love stickers and silly jokes.
What do you love most about your job?
It’s wonderful to see the incredible learning curve- going from zero to 70 in three years, if they choose to put the time into themselves and their music. I am constantly amazed by the level of musical maturity that can be achieved by young players, and honored to be a part of their journey. Another special part of my job is watching the friendships form in band, friendships that can last a lifetime- because of the bonding power of music.
Tell us about recent recognition received for one of the bands.
January was a big month for us- the Symphonic Band was selected to perform at the National Association for Music Educators conference, from bands in six states. The Jazz Ambassadors took first place at the Clark College Jazz Festival, after also earning first place at the Skyview Storm of Cool Jazz in December, and being awarded Best Sightreading Band. This month we have been invited to perform at the Portland Art Museum for the Heart of Portland PPS Arts Showcase on April 16th.
Anything else you’d like to share about your students and/or the school:
I am eternally grateful to the band parents that make my job easier, and to the administration and staff at Beaumont who are so supportive of the program that we are running. It has been an honor and a joy to build this program, and I look forward to helping more young people to find the hidden talents within themselves.
The K103 Honor Roll is powered by Concordia University, with support from CTL. K103, Concordia University and CTL thank all the amazing educators who make our schools great! Each month during the school year, K103 will honor a local educator with a spot on the K103 Honor Roll. Each honored educator receives:
- $500 Gift Card from Concordia University for school supplies
- Concordia University Continuing Education Scholarship valued at $2800
- $2500 Technology Grant from CTL for new Chromebooks and Chromeboxes
- Engraved Commemorative Plaque
- Catered lunch for the teacher's lounge from Jersey Mike's
CLICK HERE to nominate your favorite educator!