After graduating from Central Washington University in 1991, Don taught for eight years at Surprise Lake Middle School, Fife. After earning his Master of Music at Central, he taught band for nineteen years at Ellensburg High School and Morgan Middle School, Ellensburg. Since 2018 Don has taught band at Stevens Middle School, Pasco. He has been a clinician, honor band conductor, Yakima Valley Region President and webmaster, Learning Improvement Team Arts Chairman, WMEA Online All-State/All-Northwest Advisor, National Music Innovations Council member and a conference photographer. Don was selected Teacher of the Year by the following: Surprise Lake MS, the Eastern Washington Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Yakima Valley MEA, and twice by the Ellensburg SD. He loves cheering for students to become stronger as musicians and valued students, and loves seeing each student’s “Ah ha” moments. Many professors, music teachers, audio engineers, photographers, repairmen, friends and family have invested in Don. “I am stunned by this award, and will work each day to deserve it.” Don wishes to share this award with his family: wife, Heather, and sons, Christopher and Jeremy.