Mark Lawley Receives the State NFHS Outstanding Music Educator of Year Award


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 Mark Lawley, of Springfield, Missouri, as the 2017-2018 Missouri state award recipient.

Mark earned his Bachelor of Music Education at Evangel University and a Master of Music in Conducting at Missouri State University.  His first 25 years were spent teaching secondary music at Willard High School where his students consistently earned superior ratings at the MSHSAA District and State Music Festivals.  Mark then severed 4 years as Director of Music Education at Drury University where he was recognized by two Judge White Scholars who identified him as the faculty member who had the greatest impact on their education during their freshman year.  After serving as Director of Choral Activities at Missouri Baptist University Mark now serves as the Director of Choirs and Department Chair at New Covenant Academy High School in Springfield.  He has received numerous honors and awards and under Lawley's direction his ensembles have performed at local, state, regional and national events.

In 2008, Lawley founded the Boys Choir of Springfield Choral Festival.  This festival has grown into a 3 day event welcoming hundreds of students each year from across the state of Missouri.  He has served as an adjudicator for over 2 decades for MSHSAA, KSHSAA and the Arkansas Choral Directors Association.  During his tenure as president of the Southwestern Division of ACDA students from a 7 state region (Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, New Mexico, and Kansas ) were given opportunities to sing in an auditioned Honor Choir.  Lawley continues to serve as a frequent guest conductor and clinician for Honor Choirs in Missouri, Kansas, Florida and Arkansas.  In 2012, Lawley founded the Drury University Chamber Choir festival which welcomes hundreds of high school student to campus each year.