May 15, 2012—Two alumni of North Central College’s music education program are being recognized by Naperville Community Unit School District 203 for excellence in teaching.
Nicholas Janssen, a 2005 graduate of North Central College, received District 203’s Outstanding Early Educator Award for his work as choral director at Naperville North High School. Emily Steffen, a 2010 graduate, received the district’s Outstanding First-Year Teacher Award for her work at Naper and Ellsworth elementary schools.
Janssen has taught music at all levels, from kindergarten through college. He previously served as director of vocal music at Granger Middle School in Indian Prairie School District 204’s nationally recognized and Grammy Award-winning music program.
Janssen also is an adjunct professor of music at North Central College, where he directs the NCC Express show choir and Express Instrumental Combo. He also is artistic director of show choirs at Naperville’s School of Performing Arts, where he also serves as a musical theatre director and voice/piano instructor.
Steffen serves as vocal teacher at Naper Elementary School and music teacher at Ellsworth Elementary School. She continues work with North Central College’s music program as a backstage assistant for the College’s annual Explore the Sound concerts.
Naperville School District 203 recently received recognition as among the Best Communities for Education Music by the National Association of Music Merchants.
North Central College offers majors in music, choral and instrumental music education and jazz studies. Students receive a strong liberal arts grounding and opportunities to perform in more than 20 instrumental and vocal groups, including large and small ensembles, opera, musical theatre and jazz combos. They also perform on varied stages, from a grand concert hall to intimate theatre settings.