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Walnut valley Unified School District

ALLmeansALL! Walnut Valley USD is proud to be a National Schools to Watch District with numerous National Blue Ribbon, California Gold Ribbon, and California Distinguished School awards. Our motto is KIDS FIRST... Every Student, Every Day!  

Suzanne Instrumental Music Director Making a Difference

NEWS                                                                                        Walnut Valley Unified School District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                 880 S. Lemon Avenue
January 6, 2012                                                                         Walnut, CA 91789

Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources
(909) 595-1261 ext. 31204

Suzanne Instrumental Music Director Making a Difference
Ami Garvin represents State in national report

WALNUT, CA--Suzanne Middle School Instrumental Music Director Ami Garvin has been profiled among the “50 Directors Who Make a Difference”, a report featured in the School Band & Orchestra Magazine (SBO) December 2011 issue.

The Walnut band and orchestra director said she was surprised when she was notified by the publication that she had been nominated for the feature story.

"I am humbled and honored by this recognition.  I don't come to "work" every day, I come to "fun"- and for that I am grateful.  It's the parents that make a real difference by being champions for music in our schools,” she said. 

In this 14th annual report SBO checks in with 50 outstanding music educators from an incredibly diverse array of geographic and demographic settings mirrors the similarly wide range of thriving music programs throughout the country.  The report aims to celebrate the diversity ranging from the founders of focused elementary string programs to directors of large-scale championship marching bands. It also hopes to shed some light of the common values and philosophies held by the representative sampling of exceptional music directors.

Ami was selected to represent the state of California in the article.  She has taught the 490 member music program at Suzanne Middle School for the past decade. She has 14 years of teaching experience and is the current Vice President of Middle School and Honor Groups for the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association.

 “I strive to nurture in my students an excitement for learning in conjunction with the State and National Standards for Visual & Performing Arts and to provide a positive atmosphere that fosters creativity and musical excellence,“ Ami stated about her teaching philosophy.

Her ultimate goal is for her students to leave their middle school experience with a greater appreciation of music and art, a desire to continue their participation in music, and the ability to interact with a changing world, she said.

And she hopes she is making a difference in her students’ lives by being committed to delivering more than just music education.

“I want my students to use music as a way to get to know themselves and develop teambuilding and leadership skills, as well as an understanding of social dynamics and empathy,” she said.

“I accomplish this through –“Edutainment” – teaching and motivating students using analogies and stories.”

What is the most important lesson Ami has learned as an educator?

“When students know you believe in them and their potential for greatness, they will move worlds to create amazing results,” she said.  

See the full SBO report at

Suzanne Middle School Instrumental Music Director Ami Garvin is featured as the California representative in the SBO “50 Directors Who Make a Difference” report.