Brown Wins 94.1FM Award


Payton Harris

Gary Brown wins Mercedes in the Morning’s Teacher of the Month award. He was nominated by band student Noah Hageman.

Kaylani Rodrigues, Managing Editor

Valley Band Director, Gary Brown, received the 94.1FM Mercedes in the Morning’s Teacher of the Month award for the month of November.

Brown was called by the 94.1FM radio station and told he was a finalist for their monthly Teacher of the Month award before learning he had won.

“I was nominated by a student and his mother and they just [shared] the things that I do on a regular basis like…making sure everybody is in the right place, taking care of them, and feeding them,” Brown said. “I go above and beyond and they explained that to the radio station.”

Brown was nominated by marching band student Noah Hageman and his mother on account of what he does for his students.

“So they awarded me based on what the student and the mother had said, which is awesome because Noah, [who] nominated me, has been with me all four years,” Brown said. “He’s..played in the front ensemble and I’m even helping him get to the east coast for college.”

Because of Hageman’s nomination and as part of winning this award, Brown was given both a plaque and award money.

“They gave me some money and I turned around and… gave it back to the band,” Brown said. “They gave me a $100 gift card for myself and $100 for the band. I took the $200 and paid it to one of our students’ grandmothers to make 200 handmade tamales for the whole band. It cost me a little bit more but I didn’t care. It was just so cool to share it [because] I’m more proud of the plaque and the comments than I am of anything.”

Once Brown realized he had won, he was emotional. He thanks Hageman and his mother for the nomination and the opportunity to share his prize money with the band.

“I literally teared up a little bit…and I was so excited because I didn’t expect it, especially in the heat of the marching season and them getting [their placement],” Brown said. “It was a nice little pat on the back ‘thank you’ for going above and beyond and it feels good. It feels really good. I do it because of the things that Noah and his mother said; that’s why I do it.”

Brown feels pride in the way he cares for his students and thinks it should be the way every teacher should care for theirs.

“More than anything, [winning this award] just means I’m doing something right,” Brown said. “I must be doing what I’m supposed to be doing [because] to be nominated by a student and a mother is different than being nominated by an administrator. In my opinion, [it’s] what all teachers should be doing and that’s going above and beyond and most of them do and then there’s the others of us that do that and then some. That’s all there is to it.”