West Middle School Band Director George Espino was recently awarded the 2019 Barbara Buehlman Award from the Illinois Grade School Music Association. This award is given annually to a director who is actively involved in IGSMA, consistently excels at IGSMA events, is a well-rounded person who is active in professional organizations and is respected by peers.
George was nominated for this award by his colleague who praised George as a director who dedicates himself to making the lives of his students better by giving so much of himself day in and day out. Serving West Middle School music students – first as a choir director and currently the band director – George has an expectation of excellence in all he does. He works tirelessly to become the best director and musician he can be, attending conferences and playing in area ensembles. George brings that drive to his students, so they also want to become the best.
Colleagues look to George as a model and respect his opinion and feedback. As Lincoln Middle School band director Steve Mikulay put it, "I have known George for 10 years and although he is my age, I consider him my mentor. In my six years of teaching, there is no one I would trust with my own students more than him."
George has brought the IGSMA contest to Rockford and is an advocate for the festival, encouraging students from all demographic and socioeconomic backgrounds to participate. George is fostering a culture of understanding and promoting the opportunity of excellence in Rockford Public Schools and areas beyond. Congratulations to George Espino on receiving this prestigious award.
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