School News


Director Of UHS Bands Receives Exemplary Teaching Award Through UNI

In addition to having recently been awarded the prestigious University of Northern Iowa (UNI) School of Music Distinguished Alumnus Award, Director of Urbandale Bands at Urbandale High School (UHS), Myron Peterson, was selected to receive the 2017 Dr. Robert E. and Phyllis M. Yager Exemplary Teaching Recognition Award during a luncheon on the UNI campus on December 1, 2017. The award is in honor of Dr. Robert Yager, a nationally recognized leader in science education and an alumnus of UNI, and honors a graduate of UNI who has gone on to excellence as a kindergarten through 12th grade teacher in Iowa, as well as the contribution of a UNI faculty member who contributed to the success of the teacher. With 22 years of involvement in teaching, leading and facilitating learning—20 years at UHS—Peterson has made a profound impact on his students and colleagues.

Myron Peterson UNI Award Dec 2017_site

Urbandale High School Director of Bands, Myron Peterson, receiving the 2017 Dr. Robert E. and Phyllis M. Yager Exemplary Teaching Recognition Award during a luncheon on the University of Northern Iowa campus on December 1, 2017. Photo provided by Tim Carver.

“I was flattered to be nominated, humbled by the process, and honored to be selected for the recognition,” said Peterson. “I also know our students’ successes are only possible because many ingredients have come together over the years: hard working students, tireless staff, tremendous parent and community support, and district leaders who value arts education as an integral part of a well-rounded education.”

Peterson was nominated for this award by a mentor at UNI, Dr. John Vallentine. To participate in the award application process, Peterson developed an essay about how his mentor positively impacted his students’ learning, created a curriculum vitae of student accomplishments, secured letters of recommendation from a current and former student and submitted a 15-minute teaching segment video. Peterson’s nomination was reviewed by a committee representing a large cross-section of the university, and was selected from a very competitive set of nominees. Peterson’s excellence in teaching, as evidenced by the materials submitted during the application process, demonstrated that Peterson is a remarkable classroom instructor.

“I couldn’t help but to smile as I watched Myron take his students through the lesson,” said a member of the award selection committee. “Many of the best teachers empower their students to take some kind of responsibility for their learning, allowing them to investigate, make discoveries, and share and provide feedback over what they have learned with others. All of these elements were included in Myron’s lesson as he gave creative freedoms to his students, allowing them to have control over their learning while providing feedback. It was beautiful to watch!”

Peterson, and the entire Instrumental Music Team for grades 5 through 12, create a solid foundation for welcoming students into the program, empowering students to take ownership of their learning and celebrating all of the many learning moments along the way. The program outlines three governing values which include providing opportunities for students to take ownership over their own accomplishments, providing opportunities for students to contribute to something larger than themselves and providing opportunities for students to develop lifelong appreciation as performers and/or consumers of music.

“Mr. Peterson has been a tremendous leader of our instrumental program for many years,” said UHS Principal Tim Carver. “Under his leadership and collaboration with our other directors and band supports, our program has grown and truly held to its mission ‘Performing to Inspire.’ Our students love performing and many have gone on to continue playing in college and beyond. UHS is grateful for his service to our students and community.”

Urbandale CSD congratulates Peterson on receiving the 2017 Dr. Robert E. and Phyllis M. Yager Exemplary Teaching Recognition Award from UNI. The district is grateful for his leadership both inside and outside the classroom. Peterson raises the quality of the entire district through the high standards he sets for himself and his students as they partner together to uphold their mission of performing to inspire.


District News Photo Credit: Jason Menke