HHS orchestra director Jeffrey Rollins was recognized as Illinois ASTA‘s Outstanding Emerging Educator of the Year at the Illinois Music Education Conference on January 26. The recognition is awarded to a teacher in a school orchestra setting who has achieved and maintained excellence in their program or who has been extraordinarily successful in building a new program or revitalizing an existing one through the use of innovative teaching techniques and creative connections with the community.
Rollins has been with Huntley 158 since 2019. He was originally hired as a 5th grade orchestra teacher at Martin Elementary School and helped spearhead the 5th grade instrumental program in the district. Although he enjoyed starting the kids and giving them a good foundation when teaching 5th grade orchestra, Rollins says he likes the high school schedule and the opportunity to teach students daily for a full class period.
“The nice part about high school orchestra is that you get to know the students better, develop deeper relationships, and watch them grow each year.”
Rollins also stated that he enjoys being able to mold and shape the high school’s orchestra program because it is so young. “I feel fortunate to be surrounded by fantastic co-workers and teachers, a supportive administration, and a strong music community,” he said.
Rollins, whose mother was also an orchestra teacher, grew up in St. Charles and started playing violin at the age of 5.