Weaver Elementary School’s music teacher named a semifinalist for Teacher of the Year

Shaylee McComb

One teacher from School District 622 was recently named a semifinalist in this year’s Minnesota Teacher of the Year award, which is presented by Education Minnesota, the state’s teachers’ union.

Shaylee McComb, a music teacher at Weaver Elementary School, is one of 43 teachers selected by a panel of community leaders from a pool of 167 candidates.

McComb holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Northwestern in St. Paul and a master’s degree in education in differentiated instruction from Concordia University in St. Paul. She has been the music teacher for Weaver Elementary School students in kindergarten through fifth-grade since August 2012.

According to a self-written Teacher of the Year profile, McComb believes that in order to do her job effectively, she must truly get to know the students. She said that it is important to her to show her students that she cares about who they are, what they believe, how they are feeling and what their goals are.

She added that she makes sure to memorize and pronounce correctly the names of the 550 students she works with, and researches on her own time to better understand the various cultures and religious backgrounds of those students.

“Knowing my students helps connect them to the music we are making,” McComb said. “I want to make their music experience one that makes them happy and proud of who they are.”

She explained that in addition to building relationships with her students, she also builds relationships with their families and attends special events for her students when she is invited. 

“[M]y door is open before school and after school and basically any other time that students and families want to talk,” McComb said.

The panel of community leaders will narrow down the 43 semifinalists to 10 finalists in the next few weeks. The 2018 Minnesota Teacher of the Year will be announced May 6. 

Candidates for the award include prekindergarten through 12th-grade and Adult Basic Education teachers from public and private schools across the state. 


– Aundrea Kinney can be reached at 651-748-7822 or akinney@lillienews.com.

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