Dr. Kevin Vigil, a guitar teacher at Heritage High School, was honored as the Shenandoah University Teacher of the Year at the May 13th meeting of the Loudoun County School Board.
This award recognizes teachers practicing in specialized areas of education. Teachers nominated for this award have spent as least five years working for Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS). The finalists for the award have been nominated by their peers, students, parent-teacher organizations and administrators.
This is the 19th time the award has been presented in Loudoun County.
Vigil is completing his ninth year of teaching for Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS). Prior to his position at Heritage High School, Vigil spent 15 years as a classical guitar teacher, performer, composer, organizer and author. His teaching positions included The Washington Conservatory of Music, The Levine School of Music, and Northern Virginia Community College. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and multiple concerts with his wife Barbara (flute/piccolo).
On April 27, 2005, Vigil was invited to be a performer/clinician for the LCPS Guitar Festival. It was during the lunch break that Jim Harmon (the late LCPS music supervisor) informed Vigil of several guitar openings for the following school year. Without hesitation, Vigil applied for a position. He joined the faculty of Heritage High School in 2005 and has remained there ever since.
Vigil has organized several countywide events and brought the LCPS guitar program to international attention. Under the support and guidance of Harmon, Vigil organized the 2012 World-Premiere of “Shiki: Seasons of Japan” by Shingo Fujii, during which LCPS guitar students and faculty performed with the Grammy Award Winning Los Angeles Guitar Quartet.
Vigil also organized the World Premiere of “Cascade” by Omid Zoudonoun, which was commissioned by the Guitar Foundation of America (GFA).
The Heritage Guitar Ensemble has performed for the 2006, 2009, 2012, and 2014 Yale Guitar Extravaganza at the invitation of Yale University guitar professor Benjamin Verdery. The 2009 performance brought international attention to the group in a review published in Classical Guitar Magazine (UK).
During the past several years, Vigil has become a strong advocate for music and guitar education. He has presented lectures on guitar education at Yale University, James Madison University and for the Guitar Foundation of America. This June, he will present a lecture titled, “The Brain, Intelligence Theories, and Teaching Guitar: Creating Pathways for Student Success” for the GFA Conference in Los Angeles.
Vigil holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Memphis, a master’s from Yale and a doctorate from Shenandoah University.
There were 21 Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) teachers nominated for this honor. Those who are nominated include:
- Katie Boring, health and physical education, Smart’s Mill Middle School
- Michele Brigham, special education, Freedom High School
- Kristin Epperson, art, River Bend Middle School
- Kathleen Evangelisto, special education, Freedom High School
- Julie Galvin, art, Steuart Weller Elementary
- Michael Guillen, art, Farmwell Station Middle School
- Stacey Hobbs, marketing and personal finance, Woodgrove High School
- Kimberly Hrynyk, music, Seldens Landing Elementary
- Heather Johnson, art, Dominion Trail Elementary
- Howard Kinitsky, transition, Heritage High School
- Bianca Kramer, art, Cedar Lane Elementary
- Michelle Kreft, special education, Mercer Middle School
- Jennifer Leslie, music, Arcola Elementary
- Thomas Miles, band, Mercer Middle School
- Terrie Simmers, special education, Hamilton Elementary
- Brian Steffens, band, J. Michael Lunsford Middle School
- David Stephenson, keyboarding, Farmwell Station Middle School
- Emily Stevens, special education, Woodgrove High School
- Elizabeth Stickley, Spanish, Blue Ridge Middle School
- Dr. Kevin Vigil, music, Heritage High School
- William Hart Wells, music, Potomac Falls High Schoo