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MPS educator named 'Music Teacher of the Year'

Ben Zabor directing honors band at the 2014 Biennial Music Festival

Photo: Benjamin Zabor directs the Honors Band at the 45th Biennial Music Festival in 2014.

Two Milwaukee Public Schools music educators will be honored for excellence in music education by the Civic Music Association of Milwaukee.

Benjamin Zabor, director of band and orchestra at MPS’ Rufus King International High School, has been selected by the Civic Music Association of Milwaukee to receive its 2016 Music Teacher of the Year Award.

Jessica Marks headshotJessica Marks, a music and chorus teacher at Academy of Accelerated Learning will also be honored. She is being recognized for Excellence in General Music Instruction.

Mr. Zabor and Ms. Marks will be honored at Civic Music’s annual Music Educator Awards Ceremony on Sunday, May 15, 2016. The event will take place at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts.

“As we continue to increase fine arts offerings for students, we are grateful that we have extraordinary educators such as Mr. Zabor and Ms. Marks, who are helping us lead the way,” said Anthony Soyak, music curriculum specialist for Milwaukee Public Schools.

Civic Music has presented its music educator recognition program since 1991.

Mr. Zabor will be directing Honors Band and Drumline and Ms. Marks will be directing the Cadet Choir at MPS’ Biennial Music Festival May 4-5.

The Biennial Music Festival brings together students from all MPS schools in a musical concert performance for the public every two years.

Dubbed “Making Music, Changing Lives,” the 46th festival is set for 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on both May 4 and 5, 2016 at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena, 400 W. Kilbourn Avenue, Milwaukee 53203. Visit to learn more about the music festival and for ticket information. 

The music festival supports the district’s commitment to expanding fine arts and redefining the MPS experience by helping students build a strong skill set that creates abilities and sharpens students’ music talent to perform for the community on one of Milwaukee’s biggest stages.

Photo (above, right): Jessica Marks, teacher at Academy of Accelerated Learning.



Earl Arms, Media Relations Manager

Shahree Douglas, Director Communications & Outreach

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