COVID-19 distancing requirements made for a small but celebratory gathering as Laurie Bianco was presented with the 2020 Masonic Teacher of the Year Award.
Ferndale School District Superintendent Linda Quinn was on hand with a tribute that included, “It is my honor to be here to celebrate the 2020 Masonic Teacher of the Year: Laurie Bianco. Laurie is a phenomenal music teacher at Skyline Elementary and an advocate for music education in our area and across the state. She is frequently asked to be a guest presenter at regional music education conferences. It is not surprising that this past fall, she was selected by the San Juan Region as their 2020 Music Educator of the Year.”
The Lynden/Fernale International Freemasons Lodge serves the communities of Ferndale, Lynden, Blaine, Deming, Everson, Nooksack and Sumas. The Mason organization presents an annual Masonic Teacher of the Year award to teachers in local school districts. According to the Lynden/Ferndale Masons website, “The Superintendent of Schools in each of the Blaine, Ferndale, Lynden, Meridian and Nooksack Valley school districts has selected an Educator of the Year.” The award comes with a monetary gift intended to help the awardee fund classroom projects or professional development.
Laurie has been employed by the Ferndale School District since 2006, and she earned her National Board Certification in 2008. Skyline Elementary has been “home base” for all 14 years. Over the years, Laurie has also spent time teaching at Eagleridge, Central, and Custer. Among her many notable accomplishments, she composed the school songs for both Skyline and Eagleridge that are still in use today.
Skyline principal Obadiah DeWeber, a former music teacher himself, attests that Laurie is an exceptionally gifted music teacher with a gentle, natural way that makes kids love coming to her classes. He says, “I have watched students who struggle in other areas absolutely excel in music under her direction. Laurie’s passion for music is contagious, and her students shine with confidence during music performances.” She makes learning joyous.
Congratulations, Mrs. Bianco! We are proud of you.