Gudbrandson was selected for this award for the 2018-19 school year by Otsego Public Schools and the Otsego Plainwell Chamber of Commerce.
“I was completely overwhelmed with the news that I had been selected as Teacher of the Year. I've been a Bulldog six years now, and I am surrounded by so many master teachers who- in my eyes- are Teachers of the Year every year! I couldn't have been luckier than when I received my job working in Otsego,” Gudbrandson says.
Gudbrandson is a graduate of Central Michigan University where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education. She leads the 7th & 8th grade choirs at the middle school and teaches three choir sections at the high school. Her joy for music is contagious which is evident in sheer numbers in her classes, which have grown in her time here. She also leads the annual musical performance and does an incredible job to prepare our students’ voices for performance. She also provides them with workshops to better understand the content or brings in experts to help with choreography and acting skills. She finds ways to incorporate as many students as possible to help them to shine. “The community has been an absolute blessing, the students are like my own family, and I have found so many great friends in my colleagues,” she says.
She is also a great example for our students in that she continues to feed her love of musical theatre performing in local musical productions. IN the last two years, she was “Fiona” in Brigadoon at Kindleberger Park and most recently played “Irene Molloy” in the Civic’s production of “Hello Dolly!” This fall she’ll play “Miss Honey” in the production of “Matilda”. She also sings at weddings and church services.
She is an incredible choir teacher, but she brings more than content to our district. High School principal, Herve Dardis, says one of her greatest strengths is her ability to create a sense of family among her kids. “She works hard to make sure that all kids are welcome and feel like they belong. Every voice counts and she makes sure that every kid is connected to other kids. These kids do more than sing together, they help each other enjoy every day and they become family members for life,” Dardis says.
“There are so many people who have played a role in making the choir family what it is today, and this honor is really a tribute to what we have done together,” Gudbrandson adds.