2019  Central District ACE Award

Bryan Johnson, Aitkin

Presented by Michael Sellheim, Central District Chair

After teaching in Aitkin MN for 40 years and serving as accompanist for the MN All State Men’s Choirs for 20, Bryan Johnson was ready for a well-deserved retirement. Aitkin was “on the map” because of his work: as a town with an exemplary choral program, and also a destination for the annual musical he directed – pulling audiences in from a 100-mile radius. When you are the only person in your community who does what you do – the hours can be endless, and retirement would be a great way to reclaim some personal time.

Barely one year in, however, Bryan was getting a little anxious to be busy again, and he reached out to some area school districts to see if they could use an accompanist or choral substitute teacher. The region has not been the same since! Aitkin, Brainerd, Crosby and McGregor school districts all rejoice that a 40-year veteran teacher is subbing for them, playing at concerts, and accompanying students at contest.

Bryan sets his personal travels AROUND school calendars so he can honor concert dates, and students always report to teachers that they can’t wait to see him again. Celebrating 10 years of dedicated service to others, (after 40 years as a teacher!) the ACDA-MN Central district would like to recognize Bryan Johnson for his leadership and work – we are a better community because of your gifts and willingness to share them! We are grateful, and would like to present you with the 2019 ACE award.