It’s more than just about the music for teacher Chauna Bischoff. It’s about fun, it’s about facts, it’s about patriotism, and it’s about a different way of learning. With that philosophy Bischoff, a music teacher at Lovell Elementary School for 14 years, has touched the lives of every student crossing the school’s threshold and she has had a blast doing it.
For her efforts and the outstanding work she has done with the children, Bischoff was named teacher of the year for Big Horn County School District No. Two.
“I could say a billion good things about Chauna,” said LES Principal Cheri Hoffman. “The programs she puts together for the kids are phenomenal. I love the way she gives everyone a chance to shine. Even kids who are shy get that opportunity in her class. She is extremely patriotic and she teaches a love of our country to her students. I really appreciate that. I also like the way she integrates a lesson in science, math, social studies or some other subject into her music lesson. The kids are just glued to her throughout the lesson. As I said before, I could say a billion good things about her. I feel so blessed that she is a part of our faculty.”
Bischoff said she is from a very musical family and music has always been a big part of her life. She said she was so young when she first learned to read music that she can’t even remember how old she was. It only made sense that she would continue to study music in college, where she earned a degree in music education from Utah State in 1975.
Bischoff grew up in Lovell where she took music lessons as a child and taught lessons as an adult.
Her classroom is easy to find at the school. Just follow the sound of music and laughter. Also, look for “the wall” outside her room, which is elaborately decorated in a different theme each year with the help of her daughter Dana Dillon.
Bischoff said she likes the children to learn from the music, to listen to the words and to take those words to heart, especially when learning the patriotic songs.
“What good is singing a song, if you don’t pay attention to the words,” she said.
To that end, she uses pictures, maps and an elaborate set of books to illustrate the meaning behind the words, which in some cases she makes up herself.
“Chauna inspires students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn,” said District No. Two Supt. Dan Coe. “She has the respect and admiration of students, parents and colleagues, plays an active and useful role in the community, as well as in the school, is student-centered and demonstrates high levels of academic achievement for her students. As the District Teacher of the Year Chauna’s name will be placed for consideration as the Wyoming Teacher of the Year 2013-14.”
“I just like to make things fun,” said Bischoff. “I think I have the most fun job in the whole school.”
By Patti Carpenter