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Retired LOHS teacher named Outstanding Music Educator of the Year

Dave Matthys wins regional teaching honor and is now in the running for national award


Photo Credit: REVIEW FILE PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Dave Matthys conducts Lake Oswego High School band rehearsal in October 2013. He is being honored as a National Federation of State High School Associations Outstanding Music Educator of the Year.Dave Matthys, who retired as Lake Oswego High School’s band teacher after the 2013-14 school year, is being honored by the National Federation of State High School Associations as an Outstanding Music Educator of the Year.

Matthys was chosen from a pool of candidates in the region that includes Oregon, Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Washington and Wyoming. He is now in the running for the national award, which will be announced later this year.Photo Credit: REVIEW FILE PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Teaching students to work as a team and to love music always have been Dave Matthys' goals as an educator.

“It’s very humbling, and I appreciate that I was recognized,” Matthys says. “I was really surprised; I had no idea that I was even being thought of for that award. It’s always nice to be recognized for the work that you do, but I feel even better about the contributions I’ve made and the differences that I’ve made not only in Lake Oswego but also in the state.”

Matthys now is a university supervisor at Portland State University, where he works with student teachers; he’s been a lecturer at PSU since 2003. In March, he’ll direct a concert featuring the Lake Oswego Millennium Concert Band.

Matthys has been an educator for about 35 years; he taught at LOHS for 11 years.

“I am very pleased that Dave is being honored — he is very deserving,” former LOHS principal Bruce Plato says. “I hired Dave when I was principal at Cleveland High School, where we worked together for five years. I then hired him at LOHS during my second year, where we worked together for 10 years.

“I have so much respect for Dave as a person and as a teacher,” Plato says. “He was always able to get the most out of his student musicians while creating an atmosphere of professionalism, camaraderie, fun and outstanding music.”Photo Credit: REVIEW FILE PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - An educator for 35 years, Dave Matthys taught at LOHS for 11 years.

Matthys had a major impact on the Laker band program during his time at LOHS. Among its stacks of awards throughout the years, the LOHS band landed second place in the 6A division at the OSAA championship in 2008, 2013 and 2014. The school hadn’t qualified for the competition before Matthys arrived; during his tenure, it qualified for the contest every year.

Last year, the marching band won first place at the Portland Rose Festival’s Starlight Parade. While Matthys was at LOHS, the school nabbed the top spot or the sweepstakes award in its parade division nine times.

Yet, Matthys says his aim for his students was not to win trophies, but to learn to work as a team.

“The other thing that I want them to get out of band is that they enjoy music for the rest of their life,” Matthys said after announcing his retirement..Photo Credit: SUBMITTED PHOTO - He's been honored before with many accolades such as being the first recipient of the Portland Youth Philharmonic Mary V. Dodge Award for Outstanding School Music Program. He also was nominated to the Northwest Bandmasters Association and has been published in National Association for Music Education.

Matthys himself has been honored with a variety of accolades. He was the first recipient of the Portland Youth Philharmonic’s Mary V. Dodge Award for Outstanding School Music Program, for example, and was nominated to the Northwest Bandmasters Association. He has served as president of the Oregon Band Directors Association and has held several positions with the Oregon School Activities Association, including a spot on its budget committee.

“We are really proud of him,” says Cindy Simmons, the OSAA’s executive director. “He has always been one of those people who has made a tremendous difference for kids.”

Matthys will be recognized as the Outstanding Music Educator of the Year at the awards ceremony for the OSAA 6A Band State Championships on May 16, 2015, at Oregon State University.

“I think Dave is an excellent choice for this award,” says Cindy Schubert, Lake Oswego High School principal.

Photo Credit: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Dave Matthys conducted many a student orchestra before retiring from Lake Oswego High School last school year. He is now a university supervisor at Portland State University.


By Jillian Daley
Reporter
503-636-1281, ext. 109
email: jdaley@lakeoswegoreview.com
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