Margaret Saunders Ott Is Teacher of the Year. (Association News)

Article excerpt

Margaret "Margie May" Saunders Ott, NCTM, is the 2003 MTNA Teacher of the Year. She accepted this honor at the MTNA National Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. As an award recipient, her conference expenses were sponsored by MTNA.

"Margie May has touched so many lives with her love of music teaching and ongoing dedication to her students and to the profession," says MTNA President R. Wayne Gibson, NCTM. "I am honored to present this award to her."

Ott, wanting to accompany her father who was a singer, began taking piano lessons at age 7 and began giving lessons at age 11 to children from neighboring farms in her hometown of Mt. Hope. AS a high school senior, she moved to Spokane, where she met Augusta Gentsch, her piano teacher. After graduating Mills College in Oakland, California, Ott studied in New York City with Moriz Rosenthal--the last living pupil of Franz Liszt--and Sascha Gorodnitzky, assistant to Russian pianists Josef and Rosina Lhevinne. She earned a master's degree from Juilliard in 1943 and studied with Olga Samaroff-Stokowski, also working as her professional assistant.

Ott's teaching career has included positions at Lebanon Valley Conservatory in Pennsylvania, the Bishop School in LaJolla, California, Gonzaga University and Whitworth College, along with years of private studio teaching in Spokane. …