Dr. Russell Robinson, former music teacher at Cassville R-IV schools (1974-1979, 1980-81), will be in Cassville on April 9 with his wife, Brenda, to present the first Russell Robinson Music Education Scholarship to a graduating senior, who is going to college and majoring in music education.
The presentation will follow a choral concert at 7PM in the CHS Gymnasium where the choirs will perform and Robinson will conduct some of his published choral works at the request of Mary Richmiller, CHS Choral Director.
“This very, very generous scholarship is a game changer for our students,” said Richmiller. “Dr. Robinson is a renowned composer and conductor. He wants to give back to Cassville, where he began his teaching career. I am humbled and thrilled that he is providing this opportunity for our students. It is especially exciting that he is coming to Cassville to present this award to the first recipient. The choirs at Cassville R-IV are rehearsing music he has composed for this terrific evening. Dr. Robinson has graciously agreed to work with our students himself and conduct his pieces at the concert. I hope everyone in Cassville comes to this very special concert to celebrate the music he has given the world as well as our school choirs.”
As this first scholarship will probably be the only time Dr. Robinson will personally attend to present this annual award, all of the Cassville community are encouraged to attend.
Robinson says, “I have such fond memories of beginning my teaching career in Cassville. As a 22 year-old college graduate, my students were so kind to me as were the fellow teachers, administrators, parents and the entire community. After retiring from the University of Florida in 2016, I reflected on how much Cassville influenced my personal life and my professional career. I communicated my wishes to establish an annual scholarship with Superintendent Dr. Richard Asbill, School Board Member Jon Horner (my former music student), and Mary Richmiller, and they made it easy for me to make this a reality. I only wanted to establish the criteria and provide the funding for the scholarship each year, and not be involved in the actual selection of the recipient. When I was teaching in Cassville, I had so many gifted and talented students, many of whom could have benefitted from financial assistance in pursuing a music teaching career. I am privileged to not only pay it forward but also pay it backward for all that Cassville did for me.”
“Dr. Robinson's commitment is twofold in demonstrating his view of music education and Cassville School District,” stated Dr. Asbill. “His efforts to support students dreams and career pursuits in music education is so important to our local community.”
Dr. Russell L. Robinson, was named Emeritus Professor of Music Education at the University of Florida and received the Preeminent Faculty award in 2016 when he retired after 32 years as Professor and Head of Music Education. He received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Drury University in 1974 and his masters and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Miami in 1980 and 1984.
Robinson has made over 300 appearances as a conductor, speaker, consultant and presenter at festivals, workshops, honor choirs, all-state choirs and state, regional, national and international conferences in the US, Europe, Asia, Africa, Central America, South America, Mexico, Canada, the Middle East, and Australia as well as conducting venues, which include: Carnegie Hall (3 times and has been invited to conduct there again in 2019), Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Boston's Symphony Hall, the White House, and Washington's National Cathedral.
Dr. Robinson was the 2016 inductee into the Florida Music Educators Association (FMEA) Hall of Fame, and is a past President of FMEA, Associate Dean of the UF College of the Arts, National Collegiate Chair and Choral Adviser for the National Association for Music Education (NAfME).
He and his wife Brenda, were the Founding Directors of the UF Teach the World program from 2010-2017, providing internships for over 100 college students in international schools in Rome and Paris. After several trips to Africa, Dr. Robinson founded the UF Africa Choir in 2009 with an institutional linkage program at Kenyatta University in Nairobi, having his Ph.D. students from Kenya conduct the choir. This choir is still in existence at UF, performing authentic choral music of Eastern, Western and Southern Africa.
Robinson is a published author, composer and arranger with over 450 publications in print, including choral compositions, arrangements, articles, books, and instructional DVD's that are used by music teachers world-wide.
Jon Horner added, “It is such a wonderful and gracious act by Russ and Brenda to set up the scholarship for CHS students wanting to go into music education. Russ has had such a positive impact on the lives of so many students during his career. Russ has been an amazing mentor and has had a tremendous impact on my professional life. I’m truly grateful for his wonderful influence.”
Since his retirement from UF, he has continued to be active professionally: writing, conducting, speaking and consulting internationally, and as he says, “having a lot of fun doing only what Brenda and I want to do.” Dr. Robinson’s website is: RussellRobinson.com
Leading school districts under normal circumstances can be a challenge. Leading school districts during response and recovery efforts can be overwhelming. After the flooding of 2015 when the basement of Cassville Intermediate was flooded and severely damaged, administration at Cassville R-IV were tasked with leading our local district though response and recovery efforts along with mitigation and repairs.
Because of the expertise gained during this process, Cassville R-IV Superintendent Dr. Richard Asbill and Director of Operations, Dusty Reid, were invited to serve as mentors in the Hurricane Harvey Peer-to-Peer Mentoring Seminar at the Education Service Center in Corpus Christy, Texas.
“The superintendents that came in had vast disaster experience that included a school shooting, fires, floods, suicide and tornados. They shared their experiences and lessons learned that included great information on communications after the event,” said Candace Stoltz, Director, Emergency Management Texas Education Agency.
Along with four other mentors from across the United States, Asbill and Reid shared disaster-related experiences from a school leader’s perspective with participants.
Mentors discussed successful communication tactics in the event of a disaster, shared lessons learned and best practices when dealing with disasters and shared ideas pertinent for both internal and external stakeholders.
“It (the seminar) is a safe space for leaders to hear from other leaders on the important matters of disaster planning and recovery, whether it be natural (floods, fires, etc) or man-made (suicide, school shootings, etc). The layout of the day and the practical nature of the discussion, panels, and interaction among participants, makes for a rich learning environment,” said Kelly Kravitz, Director Highly Mobile and At-Risk Student Programs, Division of Special Populations at the Office of Academics Texas Education Agency.
The mentors, including Asbill and Reid, will continue to serve as a resource for school leaders across the country that are engaged in disaster recovery operations.
Cassville Middle School Technology Students Association (TSA) traveled to Missouri Southern State University in Joplin to compete in the TSA regional competition.
TSA was established at CMS in 2017 and is led by co-sponsors Mr. Jake Forste and Mr. Robbie Artherton.
In 2017, CMS earned one trophy and 12 medals in the regional competition. Showing great improvement in 2018, students earned three trophies and 17 medals.
Cassville High School Junior, Sam Holman, has been named Big-8 All Conference for the Scholar Bowl.
During the Conference competition, Holman was one of the top eight students as a high scoring individual who answered the most questions after all of the rounds were completed. He tied for fifth place.
Students are quizzed on a variety of questions like English, Science, Social Studies, Math, and Miscellaneous.
Sam is the son of Audy and Bettie Holman of Cassville.
Both the Cassville middle school and high school Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) chapters attend the Regional STAR Events Competitions and Regional Elections on Friday, January 26 in Carthage.
Serving on the Regional Executive Council for next year will be Zac Acheson, Region 11 State Officer Candidate and Josie Guevara, Region 11 1st Vice President of STAR Events.
In addition, we had 22 students who competed in various events. In the chart below you can see who competed, their event, and the medal they earned. 15 of our students will be advancing to state competition. All students that attended the event, earned a medal.
|Student Name||Event Categorey||Medal Earned|
|Carley Klewer||Illustrated Talk||Silver|
|Dalia Phelps||Teach & Train||Gold- Advancing to State|
|Jordyn Stafford & Josie Guevara||Chapter Service Project Display||Gold- Advancing to State|
|Kya Kraft||Chapter Service Project Display||Silver|
|Laura Stringer||Chapter in Review Portfolio||Gold- Advancing to State|
|Makayla Harvey||Focus on Children||Silver|
|Mary Hayse||Teach and Train||Gold- Advancing to State|
|Olivia Holman||Nutrition & Wellness||Gold- Advancing to State|
|Schauna Dilbeck||Focus on Children||Gold- Advancing to State|
|Zac Acheson||Chapter Service Project Portfolio||Gold- Advancing to State|
|Student Name||Event Categorey||Medal Earned|
|Alexia Davison & Hallie Fratus||Focus on Children||Gold- Advancing to State|
|Andrew Gray, Carlos Padilla, & Emma Berndt||Environmental Ambassador||Gold- Advancing to State|
|Emerson Grossman||Career Investigation||Gold- Advancing to State|
|Kristen Stough||Illustrated Talk||Silver|
|Lily Love||Recycle & Redesign||Gold- Advancing to State|
|Samantha Ellis||Illustrated Talk||Silver|
|Samantha Sparkman||Career Investigation||Bronze|
2017-18 School Year:
2016-17 School Year: