NPHS’ Thietje named music educator of the year

By: 
Patrick Fisher, pfisher@newpraguetimes.com

New Prague High School choral director Nicole Thietje rehearses with her students Friday, Jan. 19. Thietje was recently named High School Music Educator of the Year by the Minnesota Music Educators Association. (Patrick Fisher photo)

Nicole Thietje, New Prague High School’s choral director, was recently named the Minnesota Music Educators Association’s High School Music Educator of the Year. Thietje will receive the award during the opening day, Thursday, Feb. 15, of the Minnesota Music Educators Association’s convention. She was also chosen by the Minnesota Music Educators Association to conduct the SopranoAlto Choir for this year's all-state program.

Thietje was nominated by a music educator colleague for the award which recognizes exemplary music teachers throughout Minnesota who have demonstrated excellence in teaching, leadership, and advocacy in music education.

After being nominated, Thietje had to choose someone to write a letter of recommendation. She chose former student Micah Anderson, for whom she was choral director from 2019-2023.

“When Mrs. Thietje asked me to write her letter of recommendation, I was honored,” said Anderson, who is attending Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. “She had done so much for me in the four years that I was her student, and I was thrilled for the opportunity to begin to pay it back.”

“As a choir director, she was a dream,” said Anderson, who has had numerous choir directors in his 10 years of singing. He said there were choir directors who led with an iron fist to achieve outstanding musical results, which can lead to students losing their love of music. Others take an incredibly relaxed approach hoping students enjoy themselves, but the music suffers. “Mrs. Thietje has struck a wonderful balance right in the middle, creating a program where students create quality music while still enjoying themselves,” Anderson said. “One of the greatest ways in which she does this is by...

To see more on this story pick up the February 1, 2024 print edition of The New Prague Times. 

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