Music alumna named OSTA Teacher of the Year

Stephanie Jones ('98) awarded during OMEA state convention

Stephanie Jones receives OSTA award

pictured left to right:
Gayley Hautzenroeder, board member;
Stephanie Jones ('98),
Mason High School Orchestra director;
Trista Emmons, OSTA president

Congratulations to Mason High School Orchestra Director Stephanie Jones, Miami University alum, ('98), who was named the Ohio String Teachers Association (OSTA) Public School Teacher of the Year. Jones received the award on January 28, 2016, at the Ohio Music Educators Association State Convention in Cincinnati.

Fourteen years ago, Mason City Schools hired Jones to build an orchestra program that would expand the district’s commitment to the arts, and encourage students’ creativity. In 2002, 70 Mason Intermediate sixth graders began orchestra for the first time. Today, the nationally recognized orchestra program spans grades 6-12 and counts over 1,200 students as members.

Under Jones’s leadership, Mason orchestras have been selected to perform at the OMEA conference, the National Orchestra Cup, and the National Orchestra Festival, and have collaborated with many ensembles and artists, including the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, and the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C.

OSTA President and Indian Hill High School Orchestra Director Trista Emmons nominated Jones for the award. “Stephanie is a tireless advocate for the arts, a masterful musician, and a patient yet persistent educator,” said Emmons. “She holds her students to the highest standards of technique and musicianship and is systematic and comprehensive in her approach developing young musicians. Stephanie is highly respected throughout the state for her professional dedication, thoroughness, and thoughtfulness.”

Stephanie received Bachelor of Music in music education and Bachelor of Music in cello performance degrees from Miami University. She also earned the Master of Music in conducting from Messiah College in 2012. She is married to Miami music alum Dr. Brandon Jones ('98), who is currently associate professor of music at Wittenberg University.

“I was incredibly surprised to be selected to receive this award and am very honored and humbled to be recognized in this way,” shared Jones. “I am so blessed to have the opportunity to do what I love everyday with amazing students, both past and present.”

Read this recent interview with Stephanie posted on on February 9, 2016.