Creating Learning Community Award

The Creating Learning Community awards are designed to celebrate significant contributions by individuals or groups within our unique community of teachers, parents, students, families and friends, members of the business community, and schools or groups involved in Suzuki education. The awards will recognize those who have worked for the development and expansion of the Suzuki learning community in the Americas or internationally, or who have helped to preserve of the Suzuki legacy. These contributions will have been beyond ordinary professional duties or routine administrative work and will show evidence that the welfare of the Suzuki community has been the primary motivation for the nominee’s work, not his or her individual recognition or gain.

The following are some suggestions of areas of activity that might result in nomination for a Creating Learning Community Award:

  • Teachers supporting teachers, parents and/or students
  • Parents supporting teachers, parents and/or students
  • Students supporting teachers, parents and/or students
  • International service
  • Community outreach
  • Inter-generational outreach
  • Significant and sustained volunteer work for the SAA or other member association of ISA
  • Other areas may well be possible

Recipients must be active members of the SAA or other member association of ISA. Nominations can be made at any time, but awards will be made biennially at the SAA Teachers’ Conference. Nomination documents must be received in the SAA Office, at the latest, by the end of the December preceding the Conference.

Nomination documents, clearly marked “Nomination for Creating Learning Community Award, (year)” must include:

  • Name, address, phone number, position of nominee, and a brief biography with special emphasis on activities related to Suzuki education
  • 3 letters from active members of SAA explaining what impact the nominee has had and why they feel the nominee should be recognized in this way
  • Name and address of a contact person
  • Photos and/or short video footage are optional

All nominations and nomination documents will be confidential. An Awards Committee consisting of 3 active members of the SAA, the current Chair of SAA and the CEO will review nominations. The Awards Committee will be free to consult others as they feel this is necessary, bearing in mind that the process must be confidential. The Committee may also ask for additional information from the supporters of the nomination if this is felt to be necessary. Individual Board members on behalf of the SAA will present the awards to the approved recipients at the Conference.

Creating Learning Community Awards


Presented November 30, 2017

David Gerry
Unique Contributions to Suzuki Teaching


Presented at the 17th Conference in Minneapolis, MN

Mary Cay Neal

Sharing Dr. Suzuki’s Message to the World Harmony Through Music

Sanford Reuning

Nurturing and Sharing Suzuki’s Gift of “Beautiful Tone, Beautiful Heart”


Presented at the 16th Conference in Minneapolis, MN

David Madsen

Sharing the Sounds of Success with the Greater Guitar Community

William Starr and Constance Starr

Model of Life-Long Service


Presented at the 15th Conference in Minneapolis, MN

Winifred Crock, William Dick & Dr. Laurie Scott

Suzuki in the Schools: A Celebration of Environment

Pamela Reit

The Heart and Soul of Green Mountain Suzuki


Presented at the 14th Conference in Minneapolis, MN

William Kossler

Bringing Suzuki’s Ideas to Guitar in the Americas

Judi Gowe Bagnato

Longtime Advocate for the Suzuki Profession

Dorothy Jones

The Heart of Suzuki Early Childhood Education

Pam Brasch

Creating, Educating and Organizing the Future of the SAA


Presented at the 13th Conference in Minneapolis, MN

Cleo Brimhall

Modeling the Suzuki Spirit with Joy

Michael Yaffee

Building Bridges for Suzuki in the University and the Community

Eleanor Allen

Suzuki Pioneer in the Heartland of America

Fairbanks Suzuki Institute

Gathering a Community Around Suzuki’s Vision


Presented at the 12th Conference in Minneapolis, MN

Stan Smith, Aurora Suzuki Violins

A Model of Effective Leadership in the Suzuki Community

Yuko Honda

Treasured Voice for Dr. Suzuki in the Americas

Douglas Turpin

Establishment of the Parkway Schools Suzuki String Orchestra Program

Frank Longay, Longay Conservatory of Guitar

Suzuki Vision and Leadership


Presented at the 11th Conference in Minneapolis, MN

John Kendall

Suzuki Pioneer in the Americas

La Asociación Suzuki del Perú

Leadership in Nurturing Suzuki Education in Latin America


Presented at the 10th Conference in Minneapolis, MN

William Starr

Suzuki Ambassador to the World

Maxine Komlos

Building a Suzuki Network Worldwide

Joanne Bath

Inspiring Leaders in Suzuki Education

Mary Craig Powell

Excellence in Suzuki Teacher Education

Mihoko Hirata

Spirit of Suzuki in the Northwest

Louise Behrend

Representing Suzuki in the Cultural Center of the World


Presented at the 9th Conference in Cincinnati, OH

Dr. Masaaki Honda

Support of the International Suzuki Community

Suzuki Parent Association of Ames, Peggy Earnshaw, President

Outstanding Parent Program

Windy City String Ensemble, Michael Hining, Director

Outstanding Suzuki Program

Dr. Jeff Cox

Outstanding SAA Leadership

Advanced Suzuki Violinists Outreach Program, The Cleveland Institute of Music Preparatory Program, Michele George, Director

Intergenerational Outreach Award

Excellence in Teaching Awards


  • Daphne Hughes
  • Doris Koppelman


  • Alice Joy Lewis
  • Nell Novack
  • Mary Craig Powell


  • Michele Higa George
  • Marilyn Kesler

Distinguished Service Awards


  • Gilda Barston
  • Tanya L. Carey
  • Carey Beth Hockett
  • Marilyn Kesler
  • Rick Mooney
  • Nell Novack
  • Carol Tarr
  • Catherine Walker
  • Barbara Wampner


  • Louise Behrend
  • Clifford Cook
  • Lorraine Fink
  • Dr. Evelyn Hermann
  • Harriet Mogge


  • Anastasia Jempelis
  • Doris Koppelman
  • Joseph McSpadden
  • Arthur Montzka


  • Marge Aber
  • Mark Bjork
  • Tanya Carey
  • Milton Goldberg
  • Dorothy Jones
  • John Kendall
  • Paul Landefeld
  • Doris Preucil
  • Sandford Reuning
  • Norma Jean Seaton
  • Constance Starr
  • William Starr
  • Yvonne Tait


  • Dr. Suzuki


  • Evelyn Hermann
  • Joe Cleveland


  • Clifford Cook
  • Glenn Pannell


  • Marge Aber