Orchestra director to receive Music Educators’ exemplary teacher award

Ponca City Now - November 14, 2019 12:35 pm

Ponca City High School Orchestra Director Paula Cochran has been selected to receive the Oklahoma Music Educators Association Exemplary Teacher Award on Jan. 16, 2020.

The ceremony is a part of the OkMEA Winter Conference and will be held at the DoubleTree Hotel in downtown Tulsa in the International Ballroom at 6 p.m.

Exemplary teachers must have completed at least 15 years of active service as a music teacher and/or music administrator and been a member of OkMEA/NAfME for a minimum of 10 years. Recipients also have demonstrated excellence in the teaching of music, as evidenced by competitions, awards, and peer or administrator statements. Exemplary teachers are nominated by their peers, recommended by the OkMEA Awards committee, and confirmed by the OkMEA Executive Board.

Cochran, a native of Durban, South Africa, is in her 19th year with Ponca City Public Schools and has been teaching for 24 years. She currently serves as the Ponca City Schools Director of Orchestras and also serves as the District Instrumental Music Coordinator.

Cochran has taught Music Theory and Advanced Placement Music Theory. In 2017, Cochran was a finalist for Ponca City Public Schools Teacher of the Year.

Under her baton, the orchestras have been consistent award winners, receiving superior ratings at state and district orchestra contests, as well as state and district ensemble contests. Her previous teaching positions include Director of Orchestras for East and West Middle Schools in Ponca City, Northeast Academy in Oklahoma City and in Enid Public Schools at Waller Junior High, Emerson Junior High, and various elementary schools.

Cochran’s private studio students have made All-Region and All-State honor groups. She is also an active adjudicator and clinician in the state of Oklahoma and stays active performing chamber music. Cochran founded the Ponca City String Ensemble in 2003.

Cochran received her Bachelor of Music Education degree in 1994 and a Bachelor of Music Therapy degree in 1995 from the prestigious Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is a member of the National Association for Music Education, Oklahoma Music Educators Association, Association of Music Therapists, Mu Phi Epsilon (a professional music fraternity), Lamba Sigma honorary service fraternity and is a registered music therapist. Cochran and her husband, Sean, have three sons, Andrew, 24, Austin, 21, and Trevin, 6.



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