2013 Secondary Teacher of the Year - Danielle Prontka

2013 Secondary Teacher of the Year Winner Danielle Prontka
Memorial High School
Orchestra Director

Education: Northwestern State University of Louisiana, Bachelor of Music Degree, 2000

Teaching History: Memorial High School, Orchestra Co-Director, Grades 9-12, 2002-Present Highlands Junior High School, Goose Creek ISD, Orchestra Director Grades 6-8, 2000-2002

In her own words: “The most significant accomplishments in my education career have been the successes of my students. I have been blessed to see several of my ex-students go into our field of education, which I believe is the greatest contribution that any educator could give to the field.”

“Cross curricular education is the basis for high scholarship… The reason why? It is the understanding of cross curricular education in fine arts. There is not a day that goes by in my classroom that my students do not learn about science, history, English or math as part of their orchestra education.”

“Students learn about division of beats and how to change patterns from duple to compound meter. We discuss the physics of bow control and velocity versus weight. I challenge students to write essays on what emotion the music is creating. We often discuss the history of the composers of music and how the time period influenced the music. It is through this multi-faceted learning that we improve the teaching profession. It is through this cross-curricular teaching that our students are constantly learning in new creative ways.”

In the words of others: “I served as Danielle’s principal for approximately nine years at Memorial High School. One thing that struck me as one of Danielle’s strengths was her continuous interest in improving not only her teaching, but her organizational skills, counseling skills and her interpersonal skills. She strives as a “continuous learner” to focus on ongoing improvement for herself, professionally and personally.” Steve Shorter, Former Memorial High School Principal

Selected Honors, Recognitions and Activities:
  • Texas Music Educator Association Region Chair, Orchestra Division, 2012-Present
  • Solo Texas Music Educator Association, Chair of Judge and Monitor Panels, 2007-2011
  • Texas Music Educator Association, All State Panel Judge, 2002-Present
  • Memorial High School Student Council Sponsor, 2002-2008
  • PTA Lifetime Achievement Award
  • SBISD Teacher Appreciation Award


Spring Branch ISD