Brent Comeau, Woodbury High School band director, has been named the 2012 Educator of the Year by the Woodbury Chamber of Commerce's education committee.
Comeau, nominated by fellow teachers and the school’s principal, is described as the “Energizer Bunny” and as a “master of multitasking,” according to a Friday release from South Washington County Schools.
He teaches the symphony, varsity and concert bands, as well as the extracurricular jazz bands, pep band, state band and marching band, the release says.
“Nominators noted his dedication and how he spends additional hours before and after school, on weekends and in the summer working with students,” according to the release.
Teachers who nominated him also noted Comeau’s unique relationships with students: “There is not another course offed at Woodbury High School where a teacher could have the same students every trimester for all four years. A situation like this is very unique with the music classes. This provides a rare opportunity for a teacher, such as Mr. Comeau, to develop a strong relationship with his students, earning their trust and respect for him.”
The note from District 833 reports that a fellow teacher said: “The best testimonial to the type of influence Mr. Comeau has on his students is the fact that most of his band students choose to commit to our high school band for the duration of their high school career. I truly believe that the students stick around because of what he represents as a teacher, a mentor, and an individual, and how much they enjoy being in his company.”
The bands he directs perform at community events, including the Woodbury Days Parade, the Cottage Grove Strawberry Fest, and the St. Paul Park Heritage Days. Comeau also plays in an encore wind ensemble that has five concerts a year, including one that raises money for charity.
Principal Linda Plante is quoted in the release: “Brent is a positive role model for students. He shows them by example that hard work and dedication count and bring success. He has brought personal pride back. Our band is not just a musical group, members are celebrities to the student body who revel in their excellence.”
Comeau will be honored along with the Business of the Year and the Citizen of the Year at the annual Woodbury Chamber of Commerce Gala event at 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25, at the Prom Center in Oakdale. More details on the event and dinner reservations will be available on the chamber website.