Campus News: Swartzel Named SOM Distinguished Alumnus of the Year

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Swartzel Named SOM Distinguished Alumnus of the Year
Merritt Jenkins - 12/9/2020

Swartzel Named SOM Distinguished Alumnus of the Year


Siema Bailey Swartzel ('83) received the School of Music Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award during the virtual Homecoming celebrations.


"I am so honored to receive this award from my alma mater," said Swartzel. "I am humbled when I think of the many incredible musicians and performers who have received this award in the past, and it gives me great joy to represent music educators. I am thankful for the spiritual influence that Lee has provided in my life and in the lives of my children who have all attended Lee."


Swartzel is a 38-year veteran of music education, serving from elementary to post-secondary. She has also served as a clinician in state and national conferences. In 2014, she was chosen by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards to speak to a congressional panel in Washington, D.C. about the importance of elevating public perception of the teaching profession through National Board Certification.


Swartzel currently teaches at Arnold Memorial Elementary and "loves the connections she makes with students and families through inspiring confidence in her students." Her students have been invited to sing in Nashville as guests at the Tennessee State Capitol and to play at Thompson Boling Arena for the Lady and Men's Vols basketball games as half-time performers at the "Summit," where their performances were featured on ESPN.


"Her ensembles from Arnold Elementary are noted for excellence in performance and achievement," said Dr. Mark Bailey, professor of music and Swartzel's nominator. "A consummate teacher and performer, Siema is a very worthy recipient of this award."

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