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By Laura Enderson
On Thursday, Bedford County Public Schools recognized this year’s Teacher of the Year: Jefferson Forest High School band director David Webb.
Webb was honored at a dinner at the Boonsboro Country Club, along with each of the division’s individual school Teacher of the Year winners. The winners and judges received over $10,000 collectively in gifts for the honor.
“What you are representing is the best of teaching,” said Vicky Putt, last year’s Elementary Teacher of the Year. “You are a representation of what it means to care about a child’s mind, body and soul.”
Webb received the honor for this year, after the judges visited his classroom while he was a finalist. Webb, who has spent 14 of his 22 years teaching music as Director of Bands at JF, was speechless at first.
“I’m just blown away,” Webb said of receiving the Teacher of the Year honor. “There are a lot of great teachers here and that just adds to the honor.”
Kristen Cunningham, a ninth grade English teacher at Staunton River High, and Kristina Karnes, a seventh grade English teacher at Staunton River Middle, were the other two contenders for the county’s top honor.
During Webb’s time at JFHS, he has elevated the band program to a level of national prominence. The band has won seven Virginia Honor Band awards, and participated in many performances, including the London (UK) New Year’s Day Parade, the Virginia Music Educators Association Conference and the 2012 Music For All National Concert Festival.
Webb is pleased with the band program’s accomplishments over the past 14 years but his goals still remain high. He hopes to continue to grow and improve the program in the up-coming years.
Webb has been recognized twice with the National Band Association’s “Citation of Excellence,” and is active as a guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. He was inspired to teach band by his sixth grade band director, who encouraged Webb’s interest in music.
Webb said he continues to have a great relationship with his students. His students were supportive when he became a finalist for Teacher of the Year and wished him luck before school let out on Wednesday.
“If I achieve anything,” Webb said, “it is because my students allowed me to do it.”
Webb is driven by excellence at every level, he said, and encourages his students to do the same.
“Character is everything,” Webb said. “And it is never as well defined as when you have to decide between what you have to do and what you want to do. That’s what drives me.”