Annual NAfME-C Workshop

“A Drop In The Bucket:  expanding our possibilities”

September 17 & 18, 2023
Tan-Tar-A Conference Center

2023 Mentors & Presenters

Sheila Baer

Sheila Baer is beginning her 21st year at Union RXI School District teaching PreK – 5th grade general music. She also directs a 4th-5th grade choir which sings in the community and at school assemblies as well as co-director of the East Central College Youth Ensemble. Sheila has taught a high school American Pops class; middle school 6th grade choir and 6th grade beginning band. She is on the National Kodaly Choir Committee, VP for Early Childhood/Elementary Music for MMEA, Mentoring VP for MMEA East Central District #7 and treasurer for SLAKE (St Louis Area Kodaly Educators). She has certificates in World Drumming, Kodaly and Orff. Her time away from school is spent traveling to see her three children, gardening and biking with her husband and quilting.

Elizabeth Betts

Elizabeth Betts is currently in her third year as Director of Bands for the Fayette School District in Fayette, Missouri. She has taught the past 14 years in small, Missouri schools- many of them spent teaching PreK-12 Music. She has been involved with the MMEA mentoring program for five years, and is a member of MMEA, NAfME, and MBA. Elizabeth resides in Fayette, Missouri with her husband and two children.


Kathleen Bhat

Kathleen Bhat has 35 years experience as a music educator, all in the state of Missouri.  She currently teaches choir, general music, music appreciation, and music production at Orchard Farm Middle and High Schools.  In addition to teaching, Kathy serves in leadership roles in several professional organizations:  Memership/Secretary for the Missouri Choral Directors Association (29 years); Membership Chair for the Southwestern American Choral Directors Association (8 years); Program Book Editor for the Missouri Music Educators Association (20 years); and Mentoring Chair for the St. Louis Suburban District #5 (4 years).


Patrick Dell

Patrick Dell is in his 16th year of teaching choir, with fourteen of them at Hermann Middle School and Hermann High School. During his time in Hermann, the choirs routinely received “1” ratings at MSHSAA contest, as well as invitations to perform at the MMEA Convention in 2017 and 2022. Patrick serves as a clinician and presents workshops on teaching and sight-singing around the state, and writes music assessment materials for various local and state groups. He routinely judges for district and state level MSHSAA vocal music festivals and MCDA honor choir auditions. As a pianist, he has also accompanied numerous choirs around the nation and the world for various schools and professional organizations, and has performed as a soloist at Carnegie Hall twice. He currently lives in Hermann, where he also works part-time as a wedding officiant; to date, Patrick has wed 207 couples, with the privilege of eight of them including his former students.

Kyle Donnelly

Kyle Donnelly received his bachelor’s in music education and minor in business from the University of Missouri, his master’s in music education from Central Methodist University, and is currently working towards his National Board Certification. Presently, he serves as the Assistant Band Director for West Middle School in Columbia, where he also assists with the Hickman Marching Kewpies. Prior to this position, Kyle spent eight years as the Assistant Band Director in Boonville, MO, and one year as the K-12 music/band director in Pilot Grove, MO. He has served as a mentor for first year music teachers through MMEA since 2014 & has presented clinics at both the MMEA and MBA conventions. Kyle resides in Columbia with his wife, Melanie, and daughters, Karis and Gwen.

Brian Hartman

Brian Hartman has served as a choral music educator for twenty-three years, currently enjoying his fourteenth at Liberty North High School in Liberty, Missouri.  Throughout his tenure, Mr. Hartman has enjoyed performances as a singer, conductor, and adjudicator across the United States and abroad.  His choirs have consistently received the highest ratings at festivals and competitions at local and international events.  Mr. Hartman is active in music education organizations having served in numerous roles with the Kansas City Metro District, MCDA, SWACDA, and Missouri Music Educators Association, serving as President for the 2022-2024 term.  He holds degrees from Wichita State University (BME), University of Missouri-Columbia (MM), and Northwest Missouri State University (EdS).  Mr. Hartman is motivated by the journey and the process of creating a space in his classroom where all feel welcome, are seen, heard, and experience belonging.  He credits his family for being his inspiration and support and relishes every opportunity to spend time with his wife, Laura, children, Cami and Barrett, and their dog, Lloyd.

Jodi Kratzer

Jodi Kratzer teaches vocal music at Fort Zumwalt North Middle School and previously served as the Middle School Choir Vice President for St. Louis Metro District 8. She holds a degree in Vocal Music Education from Concordia University Chicago, has earned her Level II Certification from the CME Institute for Choral Teacher Education, and received Outstanding District Director awards from the Missouri Choral Directors Association in 2018 and 2022.  She also worked as the Vocal Music Director for the City of O’Fallon’s teen summer musical in 2017 and as Choir Manager for The St. Louis Children’s Choirs from 2009-2014.  She is an active member of ACDA and NAfME.

Hailee Kaestner

Hailee Kaestner begins her fourth year teaching at New Bloomfield R-III. After graduating with her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Missouri State University, she started her career running the High School and Beginner Band Program at New Bloomfield. Since then, she started two Vocal Ensembles, a Jazz Program, Intermediate Band, and a Color Guard. By her third year, she was awarded the 2023 David B. Goodwin Outstanding Young Music Educator. Prior to this, she earned the MBA Young Bandmasters Grant in 2021 and was featured several times in the “Mo’ Better Band” Podcast hosted by Donovan Bankhead during her first year. As well as being director of the MS/HS Music Program at New Bloomfield, she also has served on the District’s Mentor Committee and on the Principal Advisory Committee.

Steve Litwiller

Steve Litwiller started his teaching career at Leeton, Missouri in 1978.  He taught in Gallatin 4 years, and then moved to Boonville, where he taught instrumental music for 30 years.  He presented a clinic at the Midwest International Instrumental Convention in Chicago on “Beginning Band: Training and Retaining Students,” in December, 2018. 

He  served two terms as President of the West Central Missouri Music Educators Association, and is a Past-President of the Missouri Bandmasters Association. In 2010 he was named Missouri High School Activities Association Music Educator of the Year.  In January 2013, he received the Phi Beta Mu Missouri Band Director of the Year Award.  In June of 2014 he was awarded the Missouri Bandmasters Association “Hall of Fame Award.”  In January, 2022 he was inducted into the Missouri Music Educators Association Hall of Fame.


Dr. Dorothy Glick Maglione

Dr. Dorothy Glick Maglione is the Associate Director of Bands and Assistant Professor of Music Education at William Jewell College where she conducts and coordinates The Cardinal Sound and Athletic Band program as well as teaches in the music history and music education sequence. Maglione is the advisor for both the Jewell Chapter of NAfME-C and the State Advisor for Missouri NAfME-C. She has presented at New Mexico MEA and North Carolina MEA Annuals In-Service Meetings and regularly coaches and clinics bands in the Kansas City area.


Extremely passionate about teaching and pedagogy, Maglione received the Chancellor’s Graduate Teaching Assistant Award and highest accolade of its kind at KU in 2017. Before pursuing her graduate studies, Maglione was an elementary music educator in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she was awarded Teacher of the Year for both her school and learning community of over 50 schools within the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District. In addition to teaching over 750 students weekly music classes, she conducted a recorder ensemble, fifth-grade chorus and two Orff ensembles—Music Makers and the Cougar Consort. The Music Makers were invited to play with the Charlotte Symphony, and Maglione’s former students have been selected for All-County Chorus, Northwest School of the Arts and have gone on to pursue music in various capacities. While in the Charlotte, Maglione also worked with the marching bands at Vance and Hough High Schools.


Vanessa Miner

For 29 years, Vanessa Miner has served the children of Missouri as a music specialist with advanced training in Orff and Kodaly. With experience in K-12 general and vocal music, she currently teaches K-5 music and 6th grade choir in the Fayette, Missouri school district.

Vanessa is actively involved in the Mentoring Program and served as Elementary/Early Childhood Vice President for MMEA (2012-2014).  She was recently selected for the MCDA Northeast District Outstanding Director. She also enjoys directing theater productions for school and the Fayette Area Community Theater. She is an active music adjudicator in Missouri.

 Vanessa graduated with her BME from Central Methodist University. She earned her Master of Curriculum and Instruction  from the University of Missouri – Columbia and holds professional memberships in MMEA, NAfME, MCDA, ACDA, and AOSA.

Vanessa and her husband Jeff have four children. They make their home in Fayette, Missouri.

Meet Aaron Neff, a passionate  music teacher with a profound love for nurturing young talents at Arcadia Valley High School. From an early age, Aaron’s  life revolved around melodies and harmonies, fueling his determination to share the magic of music with others.

Aaron received his degrees from Mineral Area College and Central Methodist University. He is currently working on his Master’s degree from Central Methodist University.

As an advocate for music education, Aaron has played a pivotal role in organizing school concerts and community events, showcasing his students’ talents while spreading the joy of music to a wider audience.

Aaron enjoys spending his time outdoors with his wife Jennifer, and his children, Hayden, Liam, and Ruby.

Rene Spencer

Rene’ Spencer has 37 years of Missouri teaching experience and is currently an adjunct instructor at Missouri Southern State University and  instructor for the Kodaly Institute of the Ozarks at Missouri State University.   Her 31 years of public school experience include  secondary vocal and instrumental music and elementary music.  Rene’ has served as clinician in Missouri and Arkansas, conducted numerous honor choirs and  served as Elementary Vice President for MMEA, founding president of the Kodaly of the Ozarks chapter of OAKE and as a member of the MMEA mentoring team.

Rene’ earned her BME from Southwest Baptist University, her masters in instrumental music education and Orff Level 1 certification from Missouri State University, and Kodaly certification (levels one through four) from the University of Central Missouri.   She lives on a farm in Southwest Missouri with her husband, has three adult daughters (and one son-in-law), and two gorgeous grandsons.



Chris Sprague

After thirty years, Chris Sprague retired in July of 2022. She spent the last twenty-seven years at Bradleyville, a small rural school in southwest Missouri serving 220 students in grades K-12.  Her teaching assignments included Band 5-12, K-8 general music and Vocal Music 9-12.  During her tenure at Bradleyville her bands received numerous accolades, including selection to perform at the Missouri Music Educators Association Conference in 2014 and multiple years of “straight 1” performances at the MSHSAA All-State Large Ensemble Festival.  Chris is currently serving as the Past President of the Missouri Music Educators Association and previously served as MMEA President from 2020-2022. She has also been heavily involved in the MMEA Mentoring Program for new teachers since its inception.  She is an active clinician, adjudicator, and mentor.  Her hobbies include fishing with her husband Matt and gardening, and she is a 40+ year fan of the Kansas City Chiefs.

Shelly Swink

Shelly Swink is a band director at Glasgow High School in Glasgow, MO. Ms. Swink will be starting her second year of teaching following the 2022-2023 school year. Besides her commitments as a band director, Ms. Swink has served as an event organizer for Glasgow’s music conference. Along with her responsibilities as the Glasgow band director, which includes the Yellowjacket Marching Band and the Yellowjacket Concert Band, Shelly teaches classes in guitar and piano, as well as assisting students in individual instrumental lessons. Ms. Swink also coordinates the annual Pumpkin Daze Parade hosted in Glasgow, MO.

A native of Waynesville, Missouri, Shelly received her Bachelor of Music Education degree from Central Methodist University in 2022. During her time at Central Methodist University, she participated in Sigma Alpha Iota and NAfME, serving as the fundraising chair. Ms. Swink studied clarinet under Dr. Lucas Willsie. Shelly is an active performer when the opportunity arises. Outside the music community, she stays active in the community through volunteering at her church.

Caroline Williams

Caroline Williams is the music teacher at Sunrise R-9 where she teaches music, band, and a before-school choir to students in preschool through 8th grade.  Prior to working at Sunrise, she taught K-12 music and band at Scott County Central in Sikeston, MO.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Webster University and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree with Missouri State University.  She is a member of MMEA, MBA, and NAfME and has been a recipient of an MMEA Legacy Scholarship and MBA Young Director Grants.

Dr. Adam Zrust

Dr. Adam Zrust is Director of Choral Activities and assistant professor of Choral Music Education at Northwest Missouri State University, where he conducts choirs and teaches specialized courses in music education. Previously, he served on the faculty of the University of Central Missouri for four years, where he was Director of Choral Activities and Voice Area Coordinator. As a teacher, he has had opportunities to instruct in both secondary and post-secondary settings. Prior to his collegiate teaching, he was Director of Choirs at Mansfield Legacy High School in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. During his six-year tenure at Legacy, the program doubled in size, expanding from three choirs to six, and ensembles under his direction were frequent “sweepstakes” winners at their annual performance assessment. He was also honored twice as a finalist for “Teacher of the Year.”

Dr. Zrust maintains an active schedule conducting honor choirs and is frequently invited to present at various conferences across the United States and abroad. In 2018, he was the featured clinician for the Montana Choral Directors Association, providing five plenary sessions for their annual fall conference. Also in 2018, he was an invited guest

conductor of the Nairobi Chamber Chorus in Nairobi, Kenya, in partnership with the Festival Singers of Florida, for a benefit concert in support of the global peace movement called AVoice4Peace. More recently, the UCM Concert Choir performed by invitation at the 2019 Xi’an International Choral Festival and Conference in Xi’an, China.

Dr. Zrust earned a PhD in Choral Conducting and Music Education from Florida State University, and an MME from Florida State University. Additionally, he holds degrees in Music Business and Music Education from the University of Nebraska-Kearney. He is a member of the American Choral Directors Association, Missouri Music Educators Association, and the National Association for Music Education.

Mark Your Calendar!