WVEA Member Spotlight

Ethan Bartlett was nominated by a coworker to be part of our WVEA member spotlight. Ethan is the choir and music teacher at Point Pleasant Jr/Sr High School. He began working with Point’s marching band in 2017 while he was still in college. In his third year at Point, the choir director left, and Ethan seized the opportunity and applied for the position. “I knew that I wanted to give these students a good choral experience,” he said. Ethan thought of other careers besides teaching. “A forensic osteologist or a Baptist minister, but in the in-betweens, I always had being a teacher in my heart,” he told us.

Since taking over the choir program at Point, Ethan has changed the program by breaking the students up by grade level into different classes and starting an auditioning ensemble. “This allowed for more scaffolding and a progression from singing in unison and two-part their first year (seventh grade) to possibly singing an eight-part mixed number in the auditioned group in high school,” allowing them to grow in the program.

We asked Ethan why he became a teacher. “I became a teacher because school was always my safe space, specifically my choir and band classes. For me, teaching is about giving back to something that gave me so much. It was also important to me to be there for historically marginalized students, especially LGBTQIA+ students, having gone through those issues myself.” Ethan loves singing with his students, “Getting to sing every day and helping students find their voices, there is not a better feeling.”

If there were something Ethan could improve in education, it would be to change attitudes toward the arts. “The arts are just as rigorously academically as any other subject in school, and I wish more people would see that.” Ethan tells us that this year, for the first time, he has had a college student observe his class. “Talking to him and seeing how excited he was about getting into music education and his future as a choir director reminded me of why I am doing what I’m doing.”

Ethan loves to sing and play music in his spare time. He is also a professional photographer. He does weddings, family portraits, senior photos, and more.

Help us spotlight a member for being an outstanding educator, supportive colleague, mentor, or community activist. Nominate an educator today at wvea.org/memberspotlightform.