Camas music teacher honored for expanding program

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Camas — Camas High School music teacher Ethan Chessin was named Teacher of the Year for the Educational Service District 112 region and is one of nine teachers up for Washington State Teacher of the Year.

Chessin uses music to work through lessons about race, prejudice, Islam, poetry and current events. “Music is part of being human,” Chessin said in a release from the district. “Whether beautiful or brutal, I try to show my students how this is true and help them see music as a means of communicating meaning.”

13In his six years at the school, enrollment in choir has grown from 45 students to nearly 200, and he’s expanded the music department by adding four choirs, songwriting and piano classes and an orchestra. He also brought in musicians, composers, community leaders and culture bearers to the classroom, as well as created a yearlong project to allow students to compose, perform, publicize and put on a concert to show them all sides of the music business.