Clover Hill High School

Chesterfield County Public Schools

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November 2021
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Congratulations to Brianna Gatch – 2021 R.E.B Awards for Teaching Excellence winner

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Brianna Gatch of Clover Hill High won $13,900 to study Japanese pedagogical techniques and observe their influences on concert bands in Hawaii.

Brianna Gatch knew she had a future career in music when her music classes outnumbered her academic classes in high school. She looks back fondly and hopes that her students will too.

She sets classroom expectations and a structure that allows students to make music together in a safe space, where every student feels comfortable speaking up and engaging with the content. Students demonstrate different style interpretations in music literature and rehearsals are highly collaborative as students are encouraged to provide feedback. During virtual school, Gatch continued to adapt to keep students engaged, breaking larger classes into smaller groups so they could create their own band and compose original music. She offered individual tutoring, kept parents updated and shared student accomplishments on social media to maintain a family-like atmosphere.

Gatch has created a space where student voice and choice are prevalent and individual buy-in to the learning process is much greater. One parent nominator described how her child had improved, grown confident and created his favorite memories of high school thanks to Gatch’s constant efforts and communication, calling her “a ‘once in a child’s education’ kind of teacher.”

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