NEW LONDON, N.H. — Superintendent Winfried Feneberg is pleased to share that Kearsarge’s Susan Berlenbach, a 37 year veteran teacher of the district, has been named the New Hampshire Music Educators Association (NHMEA) Distinguished Music Educator of the Year.
Berlenbach teaches sixth, seventh and eighth grade chorus, general music classes and small group voice lessons at Kearsarge Regional Middle School, and has been working at Kearsarge Regional School District since August 1983. She will retire at the end of this school year.
“Sue has demonstrated a wonderful talent working with students to expand their musical capabilities and knowledge, and under her guidance and encouragement, students have flourished,” Superintendent Feneberg said. “It’s wonderful to see her recognized in this way, and we will miss her deeply here at Kearsarge.”
“I’m incredibly honored to have received this award from NHMEA,” Berlenbach said. “I could not have earned it without the opportunity to work with the many wonderful students, families, and colleagues throughout the Kearsarge community. Over the years, KRSD has allowed and encouraged me to grow as a teacher. I am grateful to all those who played a part in my experience.”
Early in her career, Berlenbach taught at both Kearsarge Regional High and Middle Schools, and in 1990 she transitioned to teaching exclusively at the middle school, where she has worked since.
Berlenbach was nominated for the honor by Kearsarge Regional High School Choral Director Robert Harrington Jr.
“Sue’s Middle School choruses have always impressed me with their appreciation of beautiful repertoire, vocal production, and musical literacy,” Harrington Jr. wrote in his nomination letter. “I can state unequivocally that Susan is simply one of the nicest and welcoming educators that this 33 year veteran teacher has ever had the pleasure of working with.”
Berlenbach is also involved musically in the community, and has sung with the Concord Chorale for 20 years. She is additionally the Music Director at South Congregational Church in Concord.
She was honored by NHMEA for the award on Wednesday during a remotely held meeting, and will be recognized at the 2021 New Hampshire Excellence in Education Awards ceremony, known as the EDies, along with the 2021 recipient. As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis, both the NHMEA Spring Conference and 2020 EDies in-person events, where Berlenbach would have been honored, have been canceled to prevent spread of the virus.