2023 Emerging Pioneers

by Sammi Smith

January 2023

The Fleurette Sweeney Fellowship was initiated in 2010 to honor Music EdVentures founding member and teacher extraordinaire, Dr. Fleurette Sweeney. In her words, the impetus behind this initiative is “the well being of children brought about by supporting, caring, and excellently prepared teachers.” By designating a teacher as an Emerging Pioneer, we aim to foster the development of teachers who believe in, support, and share their expertise in the principles and practices of the SongWorks approach. Primarily, the Fleurette Sweeney Fellowship is designed to assist conference attendance for those teachers who are designated as Emerging Pioneers (EP) in Music Education.

Kylie Decker

Provo, UT

Kylie Decker currently teaches general music and music integration at Provost Elementary School in Provo, Utah. She completed a Bachelors in Elementary Music Education and a Masters in Oboe Performance at Brigham Young University. While at BYU, she had the opportunity to study and work with Dr. Brittany May, Emilee Knell, and Susan Kenney, who introduced her to SongWorks!

In addition to teaching general music, Kylie teaches private oboe lessons and is a freelance performer. Since 2019 she has completed the Level 1 and Level 2 SongWorks Certification Courses and is taking the Level 3 Practicum this year. Kylie has really enjoyed implementing the SongWorks principles in her classroom and is excited to continue learning!

Rachel Gunderson

Rachel Gunderson

Mesa, AZ

Rachel Gunderson grew up in Mesa, Arizona, where she was lucky to be a part of hugely impactful music programs from elementary through high school. She was so inspired by her own music educators that she studied Music Education at BYU in Utah, and then came right back to Mesa to teach in the same district where she grew up. She was introduced to SongWorks by the incredible Dr. Brittany May at BYU and joined the organization during certification in 2019.

Rachel is in her 4th year of teaching, and counts the SongWorks community as one of her greatest and most beloved resources. SongWorks has impacted the way she teaches everything, from general music, to music innovation, to after school choir, to the school’s garden club! She is currently taking the SongWorks Level 3 Practicum, recently joined the Presidential Team as the President-Elect Apprentice, and is grateful to be learning from and collaborating with so many passionate and inspirational educators!

Jakki Moses

Jakki Moses

Corvallis, OR

Jakki Moses teaches general music and choir at Bessie Coleman Elementary School in Corvallis, Oregon. She has her undergraduate degree from the University of Oregon in music history with an emphasis on vocal performance, and received her Masters in music education in 2009 from the Oregon State University.

More importantly, Jakki has two budding musicians at home, Jane (almost 4) and Jimi (almost 2)! They keep her on her toes (dancing and chasing) along with her 13 year old Weimaraner dog, London. Jakki enjoys gardening, snowboarding, reading, playing and teaching piano and ukulele, singing in choir, and teaching barre. She is also the lead singer in the band, The Tiny Huge Mistakes with her husband of 16 years, Josiah.

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