The University Musical Society (UMS) and the DTE Energy Foundation recently honored Skyline High School teacher and vocal music director Lindsay CieChanski as the 2023 DTE Energy Foundation Educator of the Year.

The award recognizes and celebrates educators who value the importance of arts education and create a culture for the arts to flourish in their school communities. CieChanski, has the distinction of being nominated twice for this award by different individuals over the past several years.

CieChanski has experience directing concerts at several mid-Michigan schools and has led Skyline’s choirs to successful performances and tours. She is a University of Michigan graduate with a dual major in Voice Performance and Choral Music Education, a minor in Music Theory/Musicology, and a Master’s Degree in Music Education.

The selection team was especially impressed by her commitment to inclusivity, designing her choir offerings so that they can accommodate different levels of musical expertise, and run multiple, annual fundraisers to help ensure that students with limited means can participate in extracurricular art programs. 

CieChanski also champions the inclusion of all arts disciplines in her classroom instruction. She often invites guest artists to her classes, and advocates for the arts in her school and district. Active involvement of many alumni of her vocal programs also serves as a testament to her lasting impact on students’ lives.

“We’re so thrilled to present Lindsay CieChanski with the DTE Educator of the Year Award for 2023,” said Terri Park, UMS Associate Director of Learning & Engagement. “CieChanski is not only an educator who works to expand the musical skillsets of students, but she provides a culture of the arts that is simultaneously rigorous and accessible.”

Skyline High School is the newest high school in the Ann Arbor Public Schools, having opened its doors in 2008 for a freshman class and graduating its first senior class in 2012. Its mission is to build and sustain a community that promotes personal connections, inquiry, agile minds, and determination.

As part of the award, UMS will bring an artist for a class visit or provide an opportunity to meet with the artist at a UMS School Day Performance next season in addition to a $250 award honorarium.

“The DTE Energy Foundation is proud to support the University Musical Society and to honor Lindsay CieChanski,” said Rodney Cole, president of the DTE Energy Foundation. “CieChanski’s dedication to ensuring all students have the opportunity to participate in a multitude of arts disciplines emulates all the qualities that we look for in the DTE Energy Foundation Educator of the Year.”

Visit ums.org/DTEAward for more information and video content.