Van Tech Music Teacher Wins $20K Award and Meets Shania Twain

Mark Reid, music teacher at Vancouver Technical Secondary School, has been awarded the MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award and was in Las Vegas on April 5, 2013 where he was presented the award by Shania Twain.

Reid has received a $10,000 cheque, a crystal statuette based on the JUNO Award and the Van Tech music program will also receive a $10,000 contribution.

The MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award is part of the music education program, MusiCounts, of the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and recognizes dedicated and hard-working music teachers in Canada who help inspire students through their musical teachings.

Reid's outstanding work was noticed by vice-principal Hank Lyth, and he took it upon himself to nominate Reid for the prestigious award.

"This guy is an exemplary music teacher, band teacher and choir teacher," said Lyth.  "We are very proud of him and I was very pleased to have the opportunity to get his name in there."

Reid had no idea that he was up for the award and when he received the call saying that he won, he was in disbelief.

"The phone call came two week before Spring break, saying that I won," he explained.  "They said, 'You're going to the awards, you're going to meet Shania Twain.'  It was a very overwhelming experience."

Even after such a significant accomplishment, Reid remains humble.

"The award comes to me, the 550 music students, and the three other music teachers as well," he said.  "This recognizes that there is a whole team of people who receive and benefit from the award."

Reid explained how the money being awarded to the music program is going to be helpful.

"Our program continues to grow, and the money really helps," he said. "Next year we're going to have five senior tuba players, and we'll be able to help pay for those costs."

Beverly Seed, principal of Van Tech, believes that Reid is an inspirational educator. 

"Mark's teaching fuels a passion and desire, for music, in our students," she said.

Reid goes the extra mile when it comes to his role as a mentor and as a teacher, and ensures that he is always available to support his students.

"Most days I get to school at 7:30 a.m. for music rehearsal and I am a night school administrator as well," explained Reid.  "I don't get to leave sometimes until around 10:30 at night, and this [award] is kind of an extra way for me to know that what I do is appreciated."

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