2/3/2010 - Distance Learning student finds "dream job" after Judson
Distance Learning Success:
By Michael J. Brooks
Susan Bazin of Key Largo, Fla. has had an interesting career in her native state, including performing as flautist with orchestras throughout south Florida and at Disney World, owning a recording studio, teaching private lessons, publishing a recorder method book, arranging and editing music for a publishing house, managing a retail store and even entertaining children as Piklz the Clown.
She's now in her 10th year as band director at Key Largo Middle School.
"My extensive music experience helped me get the job, but I needed to finish my degree to remain at the school," she said. "Judson College paved the path for me to meet the qualifications required to be a band director."
Bazin graduated from Hillsborough High School in Tampa where she received the Stephen Casey Music Scholarship. She enrolled at Florida State University but her business interests took precedence over completing her degree.
"I agreed to take the KLS job for one year," she said. "I didn't think it was my 'cup of tea,' but I loved it. I'm influencing more students now than in my private practice and I. feel very good about that."
Bazin took a few on-line courses at other schools before learning about the Judson program and enrolling in 2001.
Bazin said the Judson program was different.
"Coursework was interesting and well presented," she said. "Professors were easily accessible, taking a personal interest in me and motivating me to learn and grow. They were facilitators in this process for me."
Bazin said she found the Judson website "by the grace of God."
"I'm not really sure how I found it-probably with a web search-but I'm grateful I did," she said. "Without Judson I wouldn't be here. I'm not sure who would be band director, but I like to think I'm doing something no one else can do."
Bazin received her Judson degree in 2006 and then passed her teaching certification exam.
She's received a bevy of awards in recent years: "Inclusion Teacher of the Year" (2003), "Key Largo School Teacher Recognition Ribbon" (2005), "Superintendent's Award for Student Success" (2006), "Key Largo School Shining Star Award" (2007), "Kaizen Award for Innovation and Excellence" (2007), "Superintendent's Award for Student Success" (2008), the Florida Music Education Association's "School Music Enrollment Award" (2009) and "Teacher of the Year" at Key Largo Middle School in 2009.
"These awards are an affirmation," Bazin said. "The program is awarded. I'm just the driver."
KLS principal, Annette Martinson, called Bazin a "gifted teacher."
"Susan continuously draws young people into our band program, which has grown with leaps and bounds because of her enthusiasm," Martinson said. "She awakens the musical potential in her students, she expands their vision and she helps them realize the importance of self-discipline to be successful."
Bazin said her top priority for her students is to "play-play-play and to enjoy learning about music--how to compose it, listen to it and love it for a lifetime!"
*Article courtesy of the Judson College Public Relations Department.
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