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Principals of Music Awards – Winners (2014-2015)

The Coalition for Music Education announces the three recipients of the Principals of Music Award. This year’s winners are Sheldon Hoyt (Barnwell, AB), Lorraine Harnum (Dildo, NL ) and Debbie Linkewich (Markham, ON).

The Principals of Music Awards are presented annually by the Coalition for Music Education in honour of Mr. George Bishop, one of the founders and the first Executive Director of the Coalition.  The awards acknowledge the important role that administrators play in ensuring that music programs thrive. In addition to national recognition, each Principal will receive a cash award of $1,500 to be applied to their school music program. The Principals of Music Awards are supported by contributions from the music industry in Canada.


Western Region

Sheldon Hoyt, Principal, Barnwell School,

Horizon School Division, Barnwell, AB

Mr. Sheldon Hoyt has been the principal of Barnwell School for more than ten years.  Barnwell School is a small Elementary/Middle School in rural Alberta, consisting of Grades Pre-School to 9, with a population of under 200 students.  Barnwell being a small community, Mr. Hoyt is also involved in community meetings and groups.  Although Mr. Hoyt doesn’t have formal musical training, he is often heard singing “oldies but goodies” and contemporary pop in the hallway.  He has made sure that monthly assemblies include at least one educational musical performance – reinforcing such curriculum concepts as the rotation of the planets, the Periodic Table, French language learning and protecting the environment.  Mr. Hoyt supports the band program and has personally delivered or picked up instruments in need of repair.  Indeed, Principal Hoyt has given up some of his own classroom space to store the music library and for use as a practice room.  Under his tenure, Barnwell School has taken part in 8 Music Mondays with the Junior High Band accompanying the Elementary School’s singing of the Music Monday Anthem.  He has also extended invitations to community members and alumni to take part making it a true community celebration.  Barnwell School Alumni have credited their school music experience with success in their own musical and professional endeavours as adults.