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Normearleasa Thomas, Orchestra Director & Lead Teacher for Instrumental Music, Mount Vernon Performing & Visual Arts Magnet School

Ms. Thomas has accumulated 32 years of service in the Mount Vernon City School District. She currently serves as the Orchestra Director and Lead Teacher for Instrumental Music at the Mount Vernon Performing & Visual Arts Magnet School – a position that she’s held for the past three years. Prior to taking on this role, Ms. Thomas served as the Mount Vernon City School District Administrator for Secondary Music & Grants, Assistant Principal at Traphagen and Williams elementary schools, Music Department Chair at Mount Vernon High School, and general Music Teacher for students in grades K-12.

As the Magnet School Orchestra Director, Ms. Thomas instructs students on how to master string instruments, including the violin, viola, cello and bass. “My favorite part of being an educator is seeing the progress that my students continue to make in playing their instruments. It is extremely rewarding to see my students ‘get it’ and become more confident in their musical contribution,” she said.

Ms. Thomas studied cello performance at the Boston Conservatory of Music. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education from Nyack College, a Master of Arts in Music Education from the Teachers College at Columbia University, and a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from Bank Street College of Education. She holds a certification in Violin and Cello from the Suzuki School for Springs and is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in Musical Arts.

Ms. Thomas’s career as an instrumentalist includes working as the Suzuki cello instructor at the Music Conservatory of Westchester; a cellist with the St. Thomas Symphony Orchestra; a cellist with the Alaria Chamber Music, with which she performed at the National Opera Center in New York; and a solo cellist at the Assisi Music Festival in Assisi, Italy. She also served as Secretary for the Westchester Division of the American String Teachers Association.

“I find it most rewarding to finally be a part of an Arts community of teachers – professionals who understand the value of teaching students their passions – and to have a superintendent who is committed to providing the means for which we can make this all happen,” said Ms. Thomas.