OSD’s Joe Dyvig named music educator of the year

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OSD’s Joe Dyvig named music educator of the year
Joe Dyvig teaching

Joe Dyvig, who serves as both the OSD music coordinator and a music teacher at Olympia High School, has been recognized as the 2022 Chinook Region Outstanding Music Educator by the Washington Music Educators Association (WMEA)Opening in a new window Executive Board. He was presented the award on February 18, 2022, during the 2022 WMEA annual state conference.


Students in Dyvig’s class at Olympia High School were ecstatic when the news broke.


“Mr. Dyvig has always been devoted to his students and to the performing arts, and this is evident in the successes that the OHS Music Program has had in recent years,” said senior Camille McLean.


“Mr. Dyvig always makes orchestra so fun with his jokes,” said freshman Chloe Song. “He's a great inspiration to all of us and as a freshman, I'm super glad that I'll continue to have him as a teacher for the next three years. He's always really patient with us and is an amazing music educator. You can sense his passion for music and his dedication to make our orchestra the best it can possibly be through his teaching.”


Dyvig’s influence on music education in Olympia stretches far beyond the walls of OHS, as he also oversees the music programs for all 19 district school buildings.


“Joe’s contributions through his leadership at the district level have grown as he collaborates with elementary, middle and high schools,” said Mick Hart, OSD Executive Director of Secondary Education. “His students are award-winning musicians and he instills the love of music through his teaching. At the end of their senior year, students honor him with stories and accolades that are treasures to be remembered. When Joe is not in the classroom or on the stage in a tuxedo, he can be seen raising a roof on a barn, driving a tractor and putting logos on coffee mugs, as he and his family are entrepreneurs. An ordinary Joe? Not at all, he's the real deal and is so deserving of this award.”


At OHS, where Dyvig has taught orchestra for nearly 10 years, he has led the orchestra program to two state championships — winning both the Washington Music Educators Association and Washington Interscholastic Activities Association State Ensemble Contest in the large string ensemble division.


“Joe takes great pride in bringing out the best in his students,” said OHS Principal Matt Grant. “Walking by the orchestra room is always a delight because of the high quality of music and teamwork that Joe's teaching fosters. He creates a very strong student community with our music students by promoting a "we" atmosphere in the classroom. Students understand the interdependency that they have on each other, and they support and coach each other as a result.”


It is also thanks to Dyvig’s advocacy that OHS has a new state-of-the-art music building, Grant said. “The original plans did not even have a music room in them. Joe championed the effort to bring a first-class facility for our music students, and we now have one as a result. Joe's dedication to our students, school and community have made music a big part of our pride and tradition at Olympia High School. He certainly is a deserving recipient of this award.”


Dyvig said there are many things that motivate him as a teacher. “Music gives us so many challenges, and to help the students through motivation, instruction, assessment and accountability is motivating to me personally,” he said. “The fact that we get an aesthetically beautiful product that we share with the community in the intimacy of a live performance is an added bonus. Second, orchestra students are a wonderful, quirky, hard working group of kids that I enjoy interacting with.”


His goals for the future include continuing the quality of the music program at OHS, which isn’t always as easy as it sounds, he said. “Maintenance is always harder than building. When you have reached a high level of achievement with your students you have to send them off and begin building the next cohort. You cannot be complacent or take things for granted.”


Dyvig would also like to see more secondary music classes offered throughout the district, particularly classes that do not have prerequisites and are not performance-oriented. In his role as music coordinator for the district, Dyvig works with the Teaching and Learning department to coordinate districtwide music programs, plan professional development opportunities for teachers and manage the budget, he said. “We have a lot of work to do, but I am looking forward to the work to not only maintain our great music program but to identify ways and find the means to improve it.”