Each year, the NFHS Music Association gives its Outstanding Music Educator of the Year award to one recipient in each state.  This year, MSHSAA is please to recognize Valerie Bell, of Parkville, Missouri, as the 2022-2023, Missouri state award recipient.

Bell has been actively involved with music education since 1982.  She received her Bachelors of Music Education (1979), and Master of Arts in Education with an emphasis in double bass (1992) at Central Missouri State University, now the University of Central Missouri. She has taught elementary through high school string programs in the Kansas City region.  In 1998, she became the Director of Orchestras at Park Hill South High School until her retirment in 2011.  She then served part-time as the District String Specialist for the North Kansas City School District from 2012-2014.     

Since 1988, Bell has been an active music festival adjudicator.  She adjudicates in the states of Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma.  In addition, she serves on the All-State Auditor panel for the state of Iowa. She is an active clinician, sectional coach and substitute conductor in the public school orchestra community, as well as the Youth Symphony of Kansas City and the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra.    

Bell is actively involved in several professional music education organizations and has been a member of the Executive Board for MoASTA since 2010. Currently she is serving as both Artist/Instructor of double bass, and orchestra director at Harmony Project KC since 2017.  Harmony Project KC is a non-profit located in the urban core of Kansas City, whose mission is to reach and enrich the lives of underserved students by providing music lessons and instruments, free of charge.      

Valerie will receive her award during the Second General Session of the Missouri Music Educators Association Conference on January 26th at 7:45 p.m.