Clovis High School Choir Director Brian Uerling has been named the New Mexico Music Educator of the Year, according to a press release from Clovis Municipal Schools.
Uerling is the sixth Clovis teacher to win the award since the 1960s, according to school officials.
“Mr. Uerling has that rare ability to help students achieve their potential and enjoy what they are doing. His love of students and his desire to see them succeed is evident in everything he does,” Clovis Municipal Schools Director of Music Wayne Anderson said in the release.
Uerling will be honored at a banquet during the All-State Music Convention on Jan. 5 in Albuquerque.
Uerling credits his high school choir teacher in Nebraska for cultivating his passion for choir and teaching.
“She was a taskmaster but she had a real passion for teaching us,” Uerling said. “I wanted to pass on what she do for me to other students.”
He was nominated by regional band and choir directors and chosen from six other candidates by the New Mexico Music Educators Association Board, according to Anderson.
Uerling has taught music in Clovis for eight years. He spent two years as the choir director at Gattis Junior High School, four years at Ranchvale Elementary School, and two at Clovis High School, according to the release.
In addition to directing choir, he teaches music theory at the high school.
Uerling also dedicates his time to the New Mexico Music Educators Association. He has served on its committees and has had 63 students successfully audition for the choir in the past two years, according to the release.
Being named Music Educator of the Year “is the highest honor the state gives to” those in music education, Anderson said.