Rocky Fork Middle Band Director Named Outstanding Middle School Music Teacher of the Year

Reggie Coleman (Photo: Rutherford County Schools)
Reggie Coleman (Photo: Rutherford County Schools)

Rocky Fork band director and music teacher Reggie Coleman has been named the Outstanding Middle School Music Teacher of the Year by the Tennessee Music Education Association.

This award is given “in recognition of work by one or more young music educators who have shown extraordinary promise, diligence, and success,” according to the TMEA website.

“I started playing the trombone in the sixth grade,” Coleman said. “Everyone knew band was my thing. When I got to my senior year in high school I had a decision to make about my classes in college. I always told myself that in college I would major in what makes me money and minor in what makes me happy.”

After his second day of communications classes at Middle Tennessee State University, Coleman contacted his advisor to change his major to music education.

“When I was a senior in high school I was able to be a peer tutor for the freshman band,” Coleman said. “My little brother was actually in that band which was very special to me. I was able to teach and lead that group through a concert. At the end of the concert I remember I rested my hands from conducting the band. The feeling I had was euphoric. I knew it was what I wanted to do.”

Coleman attributes much of his personal and professional success to the support of Rocky Fork Middle principal Jennifer Clark.

“I am only able to do everything that I do because of Mrs. Clark,” Coleman said. “She supports me in every way possible. If I need new equipment, she will ensure we get it. If we need an extra rehearsal, she will make it happen. If there is a conference I would like to go to for personal development, she will make sure I get there. She is a true blessing.”

Coleman said his favorite part of being a band director is providing a safe place for students to learn and grow.

“The band room is home and a safe place to a lot of my students,” Coleman said. “The band room is a place they can come to feel safe, heard and a place to be themselves. I consider myself so lucky to be able to be the one that makes students feel that way.”

Coleman will be honored tonight at the Tennessee Music Education Association’s 65th annual awards banquet at Gaylord Opryland Resort.

A native of Knoxville, Coleman previously taught band and choir at Smyrna Middle and LaVergne Middle schools.

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