West Albany HS band director Stuart Welsh
West Albany HS band director Stuart Welsh

Twenty-three individuals nationally were selected to receive Outstanding Educator Awards from the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Music Association.

Stuart Welsh, band director at West Albany High School, is the recipient for NFHS Section 8.

Band director for the past 16 years, Welsh's work at West Albany includes teaching all instrumental music classes, advanced placement music theory, and exploring audio recording, sound reinforcement and event management through his “Even Technology” program. Welsh first began teaching general music, band and theater (Grades 5-12) in 1996 for the Cascade School District in Leavenworth, Washington.

Welsh has been an integral member of the Oregon Music Education Association (OMEA) and Oregon Band Director’s Association (OBDA) since 2007, and he was president of the OBDA in 2019-20. As a member of the OMEA, Welsh has been a district chair, event chair, treasurer, and coordinator of the all-state wind ensemble, symphonic band and conference equipment on multiple occasions.

Welsh’s commitment to the OMEA also guided the organization through logistical issues associated with hosting all-state band and orchestra concerts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using much of his personal time, he designed and constructed a modular stage extension that made it possible for a church in Eugene to safely host the event.

He was recognized as one of “50 Directors Who Make a Difference” by School Band & Orchestra Magazine in 2019. The honor mirrors the thoughts of his West Albany students, who, in 2011, named him “Most Inspirational Teacher.” Welsh also earned “Educator of the Year” from the Cascade School District during the 2001-02 school year.