(WHAS11) - Radcliff Middle School has one of the best middle school band programs in the state.
For proof, all you have to do is listen.
The middle school students create a sound that is just as good as a high school band or perhaps better. And that brought the band teacher, the WHAS-TV Excel Award.
I sat in Susan Froedge's classroom today and watched her quickly bring structure to a room full of chattering seventh graders.
Susan is a young woman, who grew in Hardin County and excelled as a flute soloist in high school. Then after college, she returned to the school where she grew up to re-invent teaching in the band room.
Froedge said, "Ok! I need your attention, i need your focus. I need your eyes. Ok, here we go we're gonna start with 88."
Being a middle school band director takes a strong voice and a lot of patience, and Susan Froedge has both.
In Radcliff, she has become a missionary for learning musical instruments.
For the quality of her bands and the quality of instruction, Susan Froedge was chosen the shining star of Hardin County teachers.
The result of Susan's teaching is the great sounds from her bands.
But the hard work is teaching the individual parts of the band.
Froedge said, "Just having to motivate them, to do a lot of this work at home. You know, which is their homework.
"And just keeping them motivated, keeping them focused, keeping them interested to improve everyday."
And she has them every day for three years.
So, she can see them grow as musicians and children who become young adults.
Froedge said, "I'm able to identify students who excel that may not excel in other areas of the school. So, this is kinda their . . . This is kinda their time to shine during the school day."
This was Froedge's day to shine. She's a teacher who's creating something extraordinary at a school along Dixie Highway, and all you have to do is listen.
There are four Excel Awards left to be presented in this academic school year.
In April I'll be in the Greater Clark County School System and at Klondike Elementary School in Jefferson County.
In May, the Excel Award winners will be named in Shelby and Oldham counties.