WMEA Candidates for Office 2021-23:
Elementary Vice President
Position Statement: I passionately believe music is whole child learning and vital to the success of our students in Wyoming. As the Elementary VP, I will be an avid supporter of our elementary music educators by maintaining our ever important connections and collaborations. We are always stronger together. I also support getting concerts (live or virtual) into our classrooms, am willing to help with curriculum and advocacy resources, and just be there when that last staff meeting was definitely not where you wanted to be. I look forward to the opportunity to work with, and for you.the board, allowing me to help facilitate the growth of music educators (and music education) across the state of Wyoming.
Bio: Greetings Wyoming! I’m Jennifer Kessler. This is my 15th year of teaching music since graduating with my Bachelors of Music Education at the Metropolitan State University of Denver. In 2017 I graduated from Colorado State University, having earned a Master of Music Education with Kodály emphasis. I am currently enjoying my third year teaching fourth and fifth grade music in Riverton. On my own time, I enjoy singing, and playing flute and oboe, as well as spending time and sharing music with my own children.
Position Statement: As Elementary Vice President I would like to empower elementary teachers. Through engaging professional development and networking opportunities I will build on the work started by former elementary vice presidents. With all the difficulties of teaching over the last year one benefit has been the emergence of a variety of tech tools to enable teachers to collaborate without the restrictions of travel. Using these new resources to build the community of elementary teachers in the state will give them opportunities to directly improve their teaching, strengthen relationships, help teachers stay on top of new ideas in elementary education and reflect on these ideas. When we support teachers we strengthen student learning and building a stronger elementary general music program throughout the state will help build stronger musicians at all levels.
Bio: Elin Mayo is in her 12th year of teaching General Music at Lakeview Elementary school in Gillette and is in her 4th year as the Performing Arts Co-Facilitator for the Campbell County School District. She served on the WMEA board as Music In Our Schools Month chairperson from 2011-2015. Elin is a Gillette native and attended the University of Wyoming for both her Bachelors(2008) and Masters(2015) of Music Education and received her National Board Teaching Certification in early middle childhood music in 2020. Elin has presented folk dancing after the WMEA banquet and has hosted elementary share sessions during the north east district clinic. She is married to Bryce and has two children, Zelda and Charlie.
Position Statement:I’m running for secretary because I feel like I am highly organized and striving to become the best person possible. Keep track of things and being in charge of something is a huge responsibility and I’m ready for the challenge. I respect everything that WMEA has done and even though I am still new to teaching in the state, I feel like I’m ready to take the next step and take on the duties that are required for being the secretary of WMEA.
Bio: Andrew Miller is in his second year of teaching and second year as the choir director at Rawlins Middle School. Andrew has also been involved in the Rawlins Stampede Marching Band, Pep Band, and Jubilante. Born and raised in Cheyenne, Andrew attended South High School before attending the University of Wyoming at graduating in 2019 with his BA in Music Education. During his time at UW Andrew was apart of many ensembles and was a Drum Major of the Western Thunder Marching Band. While teaching in Rawlins, Andrew is in charge of 6th, 7th and 8th-grade choir as well as 6th, 7th and 8th grade piano classes.
Position Statement: It has been an honor serving as WMEA Secretary and I feel as if I finally have gotten the hang of the position. I would like to be elected again to continue to serve the board in this capacity. I’m very passionate about the work we do for the children of the state and want to serve our organization to further that work. I’ve been on the WMEA Board for the past 7 and a half years and am very familiar with the work involved in this position and am very excited at the prospect to continue to serve in this capacity.
Bio: Andrew Salzman is in his eighth year of teaching music for Carbon County School District #1, currently the Director of Bands at Rawlins High School, he previously held positions as Director of Bands at Rawlins Middle School, and music specialist at Rawlins Elementary School. Andrew recently received Music Educator of the Year for 2021 from the Wyoming Music Educators Association, and he is a 2019 recipient of the Williams Crystal Apple Award given by Carbon County School District #1. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Wyoming with a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education, and will begin his Masters during the summer of 2021. In addition to being a member of NAfME and WMEA, currently serving as WMEA Board Secretary, he is also a member of the NEA and WEA, currently serving as President of the Carbon One Educators Association. Andrew is active in his community through his involvement with the Rawlins Elks Lodge #609 and their many community service activities and also serving as Esteemed Leading Knight, taking over as Exalted Ruler in April 2021 as well as other activities, he helps with within the school district.
Choir Vice President
Position Statement: Donna has been nominated for the position of Choir VP and is eager to be more involved with WMEA to help serve the Wyoming music educators.
Bio: Donna Solverud is in her fifth year as Director of Choral Activities at Laramie High School, and fifteenth year as a choral music educator. Her first career was in the restaurant business as a manager and bookkeeper. In 2002, she went back to school to get her music education degree and spent her first ten years teaching choir, musical theatre, drama, and coaching track and football at Boltz Middle School in Fort Collins, Colorado. At Laramie High School she directs six choirs and is currently department head and serves as secretary for the Southeast District as well as Wyoming Jazz Educators. Originally from Pueblo, Colorado, Donna received her Bachelor of Music Education degree as well as a Master’s Degree in Music Education with an emphasis in Conducting from Colorado State University. Donna and her husband, Truman, enjoy spending time with their three adult children and three beautiful grandsons! She loves living in Wyoming and enjoys her spare time hiking and camping and exploring this beautiful state.
Orchestra Vice President
Position Statement: Audrey desires to hold the position of Orchestra Vice President as she feels she is in a great position to help out the string teachers with the duties associated with All-State. She is looking forward to making stronger connections with orchestra teachers across the state!
Bio: Audrey Ortberg is in her 13th year of teaching in Natrona County School District. For the past 7 years, Audrey has been the Orchestra and Music Appreciation teacher at CY Middle School. Prior to that, she spent 6 years teaching beginning strings at 9 elementary schools throughout Casper. At CY, Audrey has 3 orchestras, runs a before-school string club (Rockestra), is the costume designer for the school musicals and is the head cheerleading coach. Audrey was just recently awarded her National Teaching Board Certification and is the current American String Teachers Association president for the state of Wyoming. She is the librarian for and a member of the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra viola section and imports for the Powder River Symphony (Gillette) and the Fremont County Symphony (Lander). She also runs a private studio, teaching violin and viola students of all ages and levels.