Lezlee Bishop, NCTM, loves to teach, starting as a student teacher at Utah State University and, after graduation, moving to Salt Lake City, Utah, where she has been a local association member and operated a successful piano studio since 1983. She is an active adjudicator, church and recital accompanist, and workshop presenter, recently teaching a session at the 2012 MTNA National Conference in New York City. She is grateful for the friendships she has made over the years, serving as chapter president, state membership chair, state conference chair and Utah MTA president from 2000–2002, becoming nationally certified in 2003.
After serving on the MTNA Teacher Enrichment Grant committee and 2003 MTNA Conference task force, Bishop was honored to be elected to the division level, serving as president-elect for four years, and Southwest Division director (2008–2010). Her time on the MTNA Board of Directors was a challenging one as necessary, yet difficult decisions to cut spending and even jobs were made to ensure MTNA’s fiscal survival during uncertain economic times.
“It has been said that ‘If you choose a job you love, you will never have to work again,’ how true this is! My membership in MTNA, since 1982, has constantly broadened my horizons as a musician, given me a yardstick of excellence to measure my own teaching effectiveness and opportunities to lead and serve. For me, MTNA is a beautiful synthesis of good people and great music making—an association of individuals and groups of teachers who make a difference wherever they live and work throughout America and the world.
“I have learned a lot in my last 30 years of service in MTNA, to appreciate the diversity of individual needs, the importance of unity and teamwork, and the necessity of spending valuable resources where they will do the most good. As current chair of the MTNA Membership Committee and an appointed member of the newly formed ‘All for One Committee’, I, along with others, hope to make future recommendations that will add even more depth and value to everyone’s membership in MTNA.
“I am honored to have been nominated for MTNA vice president, and, if elected, will do my best for members as a national officer, to work toward positive and thoughtful change while maintaining the core values and personal touch that MTNA is known for,” she says.
Debra Florian, NCTM, is a past president of Washington State MTA. A 30-year member of MTNA, she has served in many local and state offices and has chaired Washington’s Leadership Seminar and MTNA Competitions. Under her leadership as state president, followed by a three-year term as the state Education Board chair, Washington State MTA established two highly successful programs: the Outstanding Artist Competition and the WSMTA Musicianship Examinations program.
Since graduating summa cum laude with a piano performance degree from Pacific Lutheran University in 1977, Florian has maintained a large independent studio. She has also been an active member of the Bremerton Symphony Orchestra for 30 years, appearing as featured artist on numerous occasions. Florian also serves as a church musician and enjoys collaborating with other musicians.
Florian served on the MTNA Board of Directors as Northwest Division Director from 2008–2010 and was honored to join the ranks of MTNA FOUNDATION Fellows in 2011. While on the Board, she chaired the MTNA Collegiate Chapters Forum and was instrumental in establishing several new collegiate chapters. Since completing her term on the MTNA Board, she has re-energized her involvement in her local Kitsap MTA, chairing the investments committee and, most recently, the KMTA Music Carnival, which incorporates musicianship examinations in a fun-filled event for more than 200 students.
Florian enjoys opportunities to mentor younger teachers, and credits MTNA for her own fulfillment and success as an independent music teacher.
“MTNA has been an essential partner in my professional development, providing vital opportunities and resources and invaluable collegial interaction and support. As a dedicated proponent of excellent standards in music education and a strong advocate for the arts, MTNA has both the opportunity and the responsibility to positively impact the future of our profession,” she says.