A head shot Michele Senger

Senger Makes National ‘Directors Who Make a Difference’ List

Valley Southwoods Freshman High School and Valley High School Orchestra Director Michele Senger has Michele Senger w.instrumentbeen named one of School Band and Orchestra Magazine’s 50 Directors Who Make a Difference. She is the only director from Iowa to make the list.

The 17th annual 50 Directors Who Make a Difference highlights some of the best music educators from across all 50 states. The honored directors were nominated by current and former students, colleagues and peers, parents and others.

The magazine asked each teacher three questions, including their proudest teaching moments, how they hope to make a difference in students’ lives and the most important lesson they try to teach their students.

Senger said she strives to inspire her students to have a lifetime love of music. “I encourage them to play for enjoyment and have music in their lives as an outlet for artistic expression,” Senger said. Read more of her answers in School Band and Orchestra magazine.

Senger has been a member of the string teaching staff in the West Des Moines Community Schools since 1998. In August 2014, Senger was selected as a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Scholar to attend “Mozart’s Worlds: The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni” in Vienna, Austria.

In addition to her work in the district, Senger is a member of the Des Moines Symphony and conducts the Des Moines Symphony Youth Philharmonic. She directed the intermediate and advanced orchestras for the Des Moines Area Suzuki Institute from 2000-09.

Prior to moving to West Des Moines, Senger taught in the Amphitheater Public Schools in Tucson, Ariz. She was also a member of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and performed regularly with “Go for Baroque” and the Marelle String Quartet. Senger was also instructor of cello and bass at Pima Community College. She has spent summers performing with the Marelle String Quartet and coaching chamber music and teaching cello at various festivals throughout the U.S. including the Chamber Music in the Mountains at Echo Glen in Arizona and the National High School Music Institute at Northwestern University.

Senger has a bachelor of music degree in cello performance from the University of Arizona and a master of music from Ohio University.