(WHAS11) - It's been a remarkable year for the WHAS11 E.ON U.S. Excel Award because so many academic disciplines have been represented by the Excel teachers.
On Wednesday in Oldham County, the emphasis was on choral music and the Excel Award went to a teacher who specializes in building school music programs.
This is the first teacher to tell WHAS11’s Gary Roedemeier straight out that he did it for the money.
Charles Noderer was cheered for winning the Excel Award, but he cheered because the $1,000 teacher grant will help spruce up the choir room.
Winning the Excel Award is a great moment in the career of a teacher. Charles Noderer won his golden apple and acknowledged the cheers from his students but maybe the second part of the award was more special.
His choir room is a former woodworking shop and the check from E.ON U.S. could help change that.
“I felt like, if I could get a $1,000 for your classroom, that's really why I did it,” says Noderer.
And he won the money and the Excel because of choirs that sound like his.
Charles Noderer was hired 6-years-ago, to basically start a choir program from scratch. He recruited from his classroom door.
He would hear the students’ voices and would have them sing for him.
He yanked them by the hundreds.
But how did he get them to stay?
“One thing is, I make sure we have a lot of fun. You know, it's a lot of work. We work hard, but as I've told the kids you work hard and then we'll play hard,” he says.
Being in choir at Oldham Middle School is a whirlwind of field trips, concerts and awards.
And the principal says there's more.
“He's also raising money for Haiti. He's raising money for disadvantaged children. So, really, his program is more of an outreach than it's just a choral program,” says the principal.
But back to that check.
This summer, that old woodshop will get some panels to improve the acoustics.
Thanks to the Excel Award, next year, the sound gets even better.
There is just one more Excel Award to present during this academic year.
Next week, Gary heads to Shelby County.