Dian Eddleman, Immediate Past-President of the Tennessee Music Education Association is presently Director of Choral Activities at the University School of Jackson, Jackson, Tennessee. She previously served as President of West Tennessee Vocal Music Education Association and as a longtime board member of TMEA and WTVMEA. An experienced K-12 music teacher, active clinician and adjudicator Mrs. Eddleman holds numerous awards for teaching and leadership from district, regional and state organizations. Her honors include selection to Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, National Honor Roll Outstanding America Teachers, Governor’s School for the Arts Outstanding Teacher, and Who’s Who Among Professional Women. She was nominated for “Teacher of the Year with the Jackson Madison County Schools and is a member of NAfME, TMEA, WTVMEA and ACDA. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harding University with post-graduate work at the University of Memphis and the Juilliard School.
“It will be important to assist our state music education associations in supporting the constant change our music educators face across the country. Common core, teacher evaluation systems, and high stakes testing place ever-increasing burdens on our teachers. Music teacher attrition and low teacher morale are becoming problems. We must continue to provide support and guidance to our members, as well as a legislative voice in favor of keeping music as a core subject. Assisting our state leaders, school leaders, and members in advocacy on every level is paramount.
The advocacy efforts of NAfME have taken great steps in the last few years. We will need to continue to work assisting our states and individual educators in their own schools and communities to maintain this forward motion. This needs to be not only from the top but also with the assistance of advocacy in the small and diverse districts. NAfME needs to coordinate with the state MEA’S directly in order to address and assist these areas with the most effective resources.
The NAfME conferences need to be reviewed. Separating the national conference from the research conference has produced a division between those in the trenches of teaching and scholars who conduct valuable research in our field. Practitioners and researchers learn from each other. One conference would allow for this opportunity, and members would not be forced to choose between the two.
NAfME has done an excellent job in many areas. Advocacy, membership campaigns, reconstruction of many programs such as Tri M, rebranding, and messaging are just a few of the areas that have been greatly improved.
Communication is an area in which every organization can improve. I feel NAfME needs to utilize the state MEA leaders directly. State needs and concerns are articulated in a broad spectrum during the summer National Assembly. This is the only time state leaders are in communication with the NAfME executives. Our association needs to employ our councils and state leaders to be more involved in setting policies and programs that come from the needs of our members.
In regards to the national conference, a planning committee and site host from the hosting state should chair the conference. The state leaders should be directly involved in these negotiations.
I plan to ensure consistent communication and dialogue between the state leaders of the Southern Division as well as direct communication with our fellow NAfME regional divisions and the NAfME executives. I feel we, as the National Executive Board, should be directly involved and proactive in overseeing the organization, supervision, and management of NAfME. The objective of this communication should focus on promoting the value of music in our schools, recognizing the contributions of our music educators, and providing a voice of encouragement to our members while continuing the support for all legislative efforts.”