Whitewater, WI – The Whitewater Unified School District has been honored with the Best
Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding
commitment to music education. Now in its 22nd year, the Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students.
To qualify for the Best Communities designation, Whitewater answered detailed questions about
funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support
for the music program and community music-making programs. Responses were verified with
school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.
Christine Hayes, music educator at Lincoln Elementary commented, “Involvement in school
music programs provides children the social and emotional outlets to express themselves in vital
ways that the other academic areas cannot. Music touches hearts and builds relationships.
Additionally, students who have opportunities to play an instrument, sing in choir or participate
in other musical activities are more likely to perform better in English, math, science and
languages. Studies have documented that they are more likely to stay in school. I am so proud
to teach in a district that believes all students deserve a chance to experience hands-on music
This is the sixth year Whitewater has won this award. WUSD has previously won this award in
2012, 2014, 2017, 2019, and 2020.
Dr. Caroline Pate-Hefty, Superintendent, is extremely proud of the District’s support for music
education. “We are tremendously proud of the people behind the passion that is so clear in
our Music Department in WUSD. This is our sixth ‘Best Communities for Music Education’
Award and it shows. This is one of the ways we are reaching Every Student, Every Day in a
Unified Way,” Pate-Hefty stated.
The Music Department will be honored at the April 26 School Board Meeting. The following
individuals will be recognized: Christine Hayes, Lincoln Elementary; Justin Kamp, Lakeview
Elementary; Valerie Troxel, Washington Elementary; Stacey Joseph and Liz Elliot, Middle
School; Karen Tordera and Samuel Averill, High School; and Patricia Nielsen, District Strings
Banner note: A supporting organization of NAMM, the National Association of Music Merchants, the NAMM Foundation is funded through trade association activities and donations. A total of 686 school districts were recognized with the honor.