Music teacher gets a big 'bravo'

Mathew Schick, a music teacher at Crescenta Valley High School, on Monday was named one of five winners of a 2011 BRAVO award, which recognizes exemplary arts teachers and programs.

Schick was one of seven finalists in the Music Center’s arts specialist teacher category. Glendale High School art teacher Scarlett Lowe was also among the seven. Other categories include generalist teacher, school program and school.

It was nice, albeit a bit embarrassing, to receive the honor, Schick said.

“It is very rewarding to be in a profession where I like to go to work instead of dreading to go to work,” Schick said. “I love to be at the school. Getting paid is an afterthought sometimes.”

The Music Center launched the BRAVO awards 29 years ago as a means to promote excellence in arts education. Schick’s prize, which consists of $1,500 cash and a crystal sculpture, was one of several recent BRAVO wins for Glendale Unified. Glendale High School music teacher Amy Rangel won in the specialist category in 2009. Glendale and Crescenta Valley high schools won school awards in 2001 and 2005, respectively.

Schick attended Hoover High School, where he was an active member of the band, playing flute and piccolo among other instruments. He graduated in 1988 and went on to UCLA before returning to Glendale Unified as a teacher in 1993.

His career included stints at Glendale High School and Wilson Middle School. He took over the program at Crescenta Valley High School 10 years ago, building it into one of the district’s best.

“Mathew Schick is truly deserving of the BRAVO award,” Crescenta Valley High School Principal Michelle Doll said. “He is dedicated to his students, a talented musician, and has created an outstanding instrumental program for Crescenta Valley High School and the community.”

Among his priorities at Crescenta Valley is promoting students leadership, Schick said.

Students work as equipment and uniform managers, as well as section leaders, and are responsible for executing certain tasks and ensuring that the program operates smoothly, Schick said.

“They enjoy band because they are the band,” Schick said. “It is not my band, it is their band. It is nice to be able to facilitate that. I try and integrate that in all my core classes.”

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