Congratulations to Michael M. LaCava, our K-12 Director of Performing Arts, who has been awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the Massachusetts Music Educators Association. This award — one of the most prestigious music education awards in our state — is presented each year to a single recipient at the All State Conference in Boston. Mike will receive this award tomorrow morning at the Seaport Hotel.
Mike has been an educator and administrator in Massachusetts since 1992. He started his career in Gardner, Massachusetts where he served as the Director of Music and High School/Middle School Band Director. His Marching Band, Concert Band and Jazz Bands consistently achieved Superior Ratings at State Festival such as MICCA and IAJE. The Gardner Music Department was recognized by the Grammy Foundation as a Grammy “Signature School” during his tenure as the K-12 Director of Music. In 2005, Mike moved to the Chelmsford Public Schools in Chelmsford, MA where he became the Fine and Performing Arts Coordinator overseeing all Art and Music Programs and Faculty throughout the district. After several years in the district as the Coordinator, he moved into school leadership and served as the Principal of the Harrington Elementary School (Grades K-4) in Chelmsford.
While Mike worked as a school leader, he continued to be active in the music field. In addition to being involved in various roles on the Executive Board of the Massachusetts Music Educators Association (MMEA), including the MMEA President from 2007- 2009, Mike is an active adjudicator and clinician in Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Massachusetts as well as a guest conductor for several state and local festivals. In 2000, Mike was appointed as an adjunct faculty member teaching Graduate Music Courses and conductor of the Fitchburg State University Concert Band, a position he continues to hold today. Mike joined the Wellesley Public Schools in July 2017 as the K-12 Director of Performing Arts. We applaud Mike’s commitment to music education and are thrilled that he is part of WPS. Bravo!
Details of the Distinguished Service Award:
The Distinguished Service Award will be presented annually in recognition of exceptional support and outstanding accomplishments towards the advancement of music education in the schools of Massachusetts, both public and private. This award can be given to any MMEA member, living or deceased, active or retired, who qualifies under the following criteria:
- Is or has been employed by a public or private school or college in Massachusetts for a minimum of 15 years
- Has demonstrated effectiveness in teaching young people through music and the ability to inspire positive attitudes among students, the school, and the community
- Has demonstrated leadership in educational innovation
- Has demonstrated concern for the total music program
- Has recognized the necessity for continued professional growth
- Has demonstrated a concern for music education by active involvement in local, district, state, regional, or national professional organizations
- Has been previously honored with the Lowell Mason Award
- Is a current member of NAfME (this includes retirees)