Excellence in Teaching: Springfield teacher shares beauty of music

Sharon Safley, at the piano in the music room at Lincoln Elementary. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
Sharon Safley, at the piano in the music room at Lincoln Elementary. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Sharon Safley knew from a young age that she wanted to be a teacher.

“I’ve always wanted to do this,” Safley said. “I’ve known I’ve always wanted to do this. I can’t think of a time when I didn’t want to be a teacher.”

Safley teaches music at Lincoln Elementary school in the Springfield City School District. She has been a music teacher with the district since 2004, as well as a piano teacher at Wittenberg University Center of Music Development since 2003.

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Safley and three other teachers will be receiving the Excellence in Teaching Award on March 18. The awards program is sponsored by the Springfield Rotary Club, Ohio Edison, the Springfield Foundation and the Chamber of Greater Springfield.

Each recipient will be introduced and will give a presentation on what teaching has meant to them and the importance of being a teacher. Recipients also receive a $1,000 check, a glass apple and proclamations from the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate.

Safley started playing piano and taking lessons in the sixth grade. Safley said that growing up she always dreamed of having the opportunity to attend Wittenberg, but was unable to attend out of high school due to tuition prices.

“I just thought: ‘There is no way,’ so I let it go,” Safely said. “I went and did something different.”

In 2004, Safley achieved her dream, she received a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Wittenberg. She then went on to receive her master’s in music from Wright State University in 2010.

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“I love to share my music and my experiences with students,” Safley said. “You wanna share this love and this beauty that you get to experience every day.”

Safley said her favorite part of her profession is being able to help students learn in a unconventional way.

“There is more than one way to learn. I’m happy I can share that,” Safley said.

Having worked as a Springfield City Schools teacher her whole career, Safley said she wants to share her award with other teachers in the district.

“I want to celebrate so many people I’ve met along the way, worked with along the way, who have helped me become the teacher that I am,” Safley said. “I want to thank them. There are so many great people within Springfield City Schools that I want to celebrate with them.”

Excellence in Teaching Award

This is the second in a four-part series by the Springfield News Sun on the teachers in Clark County receiving the 2019 Excellence in Teaching Award.