Brandi Jason, an Instrumental Music Teacher at Liberty High School, was named the Carroll County 2019 Teacher of the Year during the Board of Education’s employee recognition ceremony on Thursday, April 25, 2019.
Jason earned a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from James Madison University in 2000. In 2002, she earned a Master of Music in Clarinet Performance, also from James Madison University. Jason was a Vocal Music and General Music Teacher at East Middle School before moving to Liberty High School where she has been teaching since 2005.
Throughout her teaching career at Liberty High School, Jason has served as the Tri-M National Music Honor Society Advisor, the Instructional Team Leader for the Fine Arts Department, and Director of the Honors Wind Ensemble, the Honors Symphonic Band, Concert Band, Orchestra, Honors Orchestra, Percussion Ensemble, Honors Jazz Ensemble, and the Lions’ Pride (competitive) Marching Band.
Jason has grown Liberty Instrumental Music into the largest instrumental music program in Carroll County – a program that is strong in the areas of student performance, extracurriculars, community outreach, and parent involvement. Statistically, one-quarter of the school population is enrolled in instrumental music with over twenty percent of students doubling on at least more than one instrument. The honor ensembles are performing college-level literature and continue to receive superior ratings at music assessment festivals. The marching band is ranked first on the Tournament of Bands Atlantic Coast (Group 3) – the highest scoring marching band in Maryland history. Liberty graduates 3-7 instrumental music majors annually and has the largest percentage of students participating in All-County and All-State ensembles.
Among her many accomplishments, Jason established a Liberty High School chapter of the Tri-M National Music Honors Society. While at Liberty, she also created the “big sibling” mentor program, which pairs veteran members with newcomers to the department. She also started the private lesson program that provides free tutoring services for struggling middle and high school students. In addition, Jason created the annual Salute to the Armed Forces Red, White, and Blue Pops Concert series, which brings all ensembles into contact with their own solo guest artist while honoring local service people and veterans in the community.
Jason was a 2018 GRAMMY Finalist – 1 of 9 educators nationwide. For the last three years, she has been a Music Educator Semi-Finalist – 1 of 25 educators nationwide. Liberty High School was named a “Best Community for Music Education” by the National Association for Music Education in 2016 (1 of 118 schools recognized). Jason has been a finalist three times for Carroll County Teacher of the Year.
According to Principal Kenneth Goncz, “Brandi is a masterful instructor and director. She creates a learning environment that results in high achievement. She is a master teacher who stretches her students to achieve excellence. Her ability to motivate and inspire students and guide them toward success serves as a model for our students, and her unwavering dedication is admirable. It is hard to overstate the positive impact Brandi has had and continues to have on Liberty High School. “
The Carroll County Teacher of the Year Award is presented annually to an individual who represents Carroll County teachers in the Maryland Teacher of the Year Program, and possibly the National Teacher of the Year Program. Working in collaboration with the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce, this year’s finalists for Teacher of the Year were selected by the Chamber of Commerce as winners of the Chamber’s Outstanding Teacher Awards.