Student Media of Pittsburg High School

Photo by: Hannah Abarca

Vocal music director Susan Laushman accompanies and conducts during a Multigenerational Choir rehearsal. Laushman has been teaching music for 30 years. “I knew right off the bat that I would be a music educator,” Laushman said. “I was accompanying as an elementary school student, if you can imagine that. I did not like college teaching at all. Once I settled into public school, I knew this was just the right place.”

Scholarship dedicated to honor Laushman

November 29, 2018

2019 will be the first year in which the USD 250 Foundation awards a scholarship in vocal music director Susan Laushman’s name.

“In my wildest dreams, I never thought something like that would be started in my name,” said Laushman, who has been a music educator for 30 years. “I’m flattered.”

The scholarship — formally titled the “Susan Laushman Vocal Music Scholarship” — amounts to $500, and will either be awarded to one senior in its entirety, or to two seniors in the amount of $250 each.

Nicole Konopelko

Laushman is still determining the criteria for the scholarship recipient, but she said she’s certain it will include “active participation in vocal music during high school, leadership within the choir, participation in District or State Choir and enrollment in a choir ensemble during college.”

Kaye Lynne Webb presented the money to Laushman at the end of the annual Multigenerational Choir concert on Oct. 24. The money was raised by Webb and the other adult members of the choir.

“This is 10 years of a program that’s really, I think, unique,” said Webb, an eight-year choir member. “I don’t know any place else where they have a multigenerational choir and if they do, it’s because they heard about Susan. She could be anywhere. She could be singing opera or she could be at Carnegie Hall because she’s that good of a pianist, and we’ve got her in Pittsburg, Kan.”

Laushman has been a recipient of multiple other honors, including the 2012 Kansas Music Educator of the Year and the USD 250 Globe Award. She’s also been the accompanist for the Kansas Music Educator’s Association (KMEA) State Choir for 10 years and the KMEA District Honor Choir for 25 years.

This honor, however, brings her a different feeling.

“When you receive Music Educator of the Year, it’s a process, so you kind of know that you’re being considered and letters of recommendation are out, but this was unexpected,” Laushman said. “That’s why it was so exciting — because I had no idea.”

The USD 250 Foundation, which Webb is a member of, will award the scholarship at the annual Feast and Follies Banquet on May 1.

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