by Scott Neuffer

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May 2, 2013
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Zabelsky named top music teacher in state

Douglas High Music Director Bill Zabelsky received the honor of a lifetime April 20 when the Nevada Music Educators Association named him the 2012-13 Music Teacher of the Year for the entire state.

The honor was announced during the All State Music Festival in Las Vegas.

“I was stunned,” Zabelsky said Monday. “It feels pretty special to be recognized by all the music teachers in Nevada.”

Zabelsky’s former student Jason Smith, now the music director of Fernley High School, and Dayton High Music Director Julie Bumgardner presented the award to “Mr. Z.”

“It was pretty exciting,” said Zabelsky. “I would like to thank all the people who put my name in for the nomination.”

Those people include Janice Florey, Sarah Holland, John Houghton, Tammy Owens, and Bumgardner.

“I couldn’t have done it without the great kids we have,” he said.

Zabelsky, 59, has taught music for 34 years, 28 of those at Douglas High. And the Gardnerville resident is no stranger to accolades; the band room at the high school is laden with trophies from competitions across the region.

One that singles out his accomplishments is harder to find, though. He was named Walmart’s area teacher of the year in 2004.

“I pretty much enjoy what I do,” Zabelsky said.

True to form, he mentioned that the Douglas High spring concert is 7 p.m. May 23 in the commons area.

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The Record Courier Updated May 20, 2013 10:38AM Published May 2, 2013 12:22PM Copyright 2013 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.