Mercer Island High School band director Parker Bixby has earned the Pathfinder Award from the Puget Sound Association of Phi Beta Kappa.
The Pathfinder Award was given to the teacher for inspiring others to seek and explore different pathways in life. He was nominated by current students, band volunteer Terry Pottmeyer and MISD administrator Jennifer Wright.
"“Parker is a tireless advocate for arts education and speaks with knowledge, passion and conviction about the importance of music in the lives of young learners. Teaching students from 5th grade through 12th, he leads a program so compelling, so excellent and so relevant to students that fully 20% of the students at the high school are enrolled," wrote Pottmeyer and Wright in Bixby's nomination letter.
“Mr. Bixby is not just a teacher," wrote MIHS drum major Hannah Frisch as part of the nomination. "He is a therapist, comedian, pal, role model, disciplinarian, philosopher, intellectual, and humanitarian. Not a day goes by when Mr. Bixby does not teach you something, whether it be about making music, or perspective about a common stereotype.”
Bixby will be honored during Phi Beta Kappa's spring lunch on May 13.