Owensboro High School teacher Aaron Klausing has been selected to receive the 2022 Kentucky Valvoline Teacher Achievement Award, presented by the Kentucky Department of Education and Valvoline Inc. He now qualifies to compete for the 2022 Kentucky Teacher of the Year Award, which will be announced in September.
Klausing is the Assistant Band Director at Owensboro High School and assists with instruction at Owensboro Middle School.
“Receiving this award is both a proud moment in my career as well as a humbling one,” he said. “I am not one that likes to be in the spotlight, as I would rather celebrate the students’ accomplishments, which is why I feel this award is really a reflection of the hardworking and motivated students and support system we have at Owensboro Public Schools.”
Since joining OPS in 2011, Klausing has helped lead the Owensboro High School band program to considerable growth in involvement and quality of performances. In 2011 he founded a steel drum group called Red Steel and has created a yearly spring percussion concert that brings creative staging, imaginative arrangements, and a variety of art forms together in a popular stage show.
Klausing is passionate about the inclusion of any individual interested in playing music. He assists with 6th through 8th grade bands and teaches marching band, percussion ensemble, steel drums, and concert band at the high school. His steel drum group, Red Steel, and his concert percussion ensemble have played at the Kentucky Music Education Association conventions in 2014 and 2016, respectively. The middle school band was selected as a premiere group in 2019 at the Kentucky Music Education Association Conference.
Prior to his time with OPS, Klausing assisted with the world-famous Louisville Leopard Percussionists as a teacher, composer, and arranger. He is a member of Phi Mu Alpha, KMEA, PAS, and NAFME, and he was KMEA District 2 Teacher of the Year in 2016.
All 24 teachers selected for the Achievement Award will be honored during a virtual event on Sept. 9. At that time, the Kentucky Elementary, Middle and High School Teachers of the Year will be announced. From this group of three finalists, the Kentucky Teacher of the Year will be named and will represent the state in the National Teacher of the Year competition.
Valvoline will provide the 24 recipients with cash awards. In addition, the three Kentucky Teachers of the Year will receive custom-designed glassware commemorating their accomplishments.
Judging was conducted in May by a blue-ribbon panel of veteran educators, many of whom have more than 25 years of teaching experience. Applications included information on the nominees’ teaching philosophies, teaching experiences and involvement in their respective communities, as well as letters of recommendation from peers, students, parents, administrators and others.