Bernie Powers honored as Distinguished Educator
PLATTEVILLE - "I am a teacher because I believe I can make a positive difference in the life of a child. Working with younger children is fun. I love their enthusiasm. The middle school level involves a lot of instruction and guidance, where the high school is more performance oriented," said Bernie Powers, Patrick Marsh Middle School music instructor.
Bernard Powers is a 1967 graduate of UW-Platteville with a bachelor of science and a master of science of degree in music education. Powers will be honored with the Distinguished Educator Award at a banquet held Oct. 12, during UWP homecoming week.
"I loved college. This is where I met my wife. It is where I met the people who became my most important lifelong friends. It is the place where I changed and matured into a willing and capable person. I was the first person in my family to attend college so it was a whole new lifestyle to me," said Powers.
Powers is entering his 26th year of teaching in the Sun Prairie Area School District. Prior to this time he taught high school band at Janesville Parker for three years, middle school band at Platteville for seven years, choir, band and general music at Mineral Point for one year and band at Highland for one-half year. After 25 years at Sun Prairie High School, he is currently teaching band at Patrick Marsh Middle School in Sun Prairie.
The Sun Prairie high school band program is considered one of the finest in the state of Wisconsin. Bands under Powers direction have performed at 17 state and national level conventions in the past 25 years. The Sun Prairie Wind Ensemble has won national first place awards at St. Louis, Mo., Knoxville, Tenn. and Branson, Mo.
"UWP shaped me into who I am today. I believe the caring, attentive atmosphere nurtured the teacher in me. I know I model many of the outstanding instructors who impacted my life," said Powers.
Power's wife Jane is a general music teacher in Madison. He also has a son, Steve who is an Edward Jones representative in Sun Prairie and a daughter, Amy, who works with a middle school band in the Twin Cities.
Powers is active as a clinician and adjudicator throughout the Midwest and Canada. He has been awarded the National Band Association Citation of Excellence three times and has been presented the Distinguished Band Master of America Award. He received the Charles Ashley Award for exceptional contributions to the community of Sun Prairie in 2002.
"Platteville was the perfect place for me. It was small enough that I didn't get lost in the shuffle, yet large enough to exude excellence. I had the privilege of knowing all of my instructors quite well," said Powers.