West Liberty University’s Linda Cowan is finalist for West Virginia Teacher of the Year | News, Sports, Jobs
A West Liberty University music teacher is one of five finalists for 2021 West Virginia Teacher of the Year.
WLU’s Linda Cowan joins West Virginia State chemistry professor Micheal Fultz, Shepherd nursing professor Michael Groves, Marshall journalism professor Dan Hollis and WVU Tech history professor Paul Rakes on the list of finalists. Each year, the Faculty Merit Foundation of West Virginia honors an outstanding faculty member from a West Virginia college or university.
“I congratulate Dr. Cowan on his selection as a finalist for this prestigious award,” said WLU President W. Franklin Evans. “She has brought honor to the College of Liberal and Creative Arts and to the entire university, and we wish her well as she continues the application process that will determine the final selection of West Virginia’s 2021 Teacher of the Year.”
Over the past seven years, WLU faculty members have been selected as the state’s Teacher of the Year three times and as finalists in the statewide competition six times.
Interviews with the five candidates will take place on Monday, February 14. Traditionally, finalists are honored at a spring banquet in Charleston, where the teacher of the year is announced. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, plans for a banquet have not been determined.
Cowan holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from Indiana University in Pennsylvania, a master’s degree in vocal performance from Indiana State University, and a doctorate in vocal performance from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.
She has performed in the genres of opera, musical theatre, drama, oratorio and concert hall. She has given many concerts in New Jersey, Indiana, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Cowan established Hilltop Opera at WLU, where she taught for 19 years, and conducted numerous operatic and theatrical performances.
Cowan is chair of WLU’s Department of Music and Drama and teaches private and classroom voice, diction, opera workshop, musical theater workshop, and vocal literature and pedagogy courses. Cowan previously taught at the West Virginia Governor’s School for the Arts and was often a visiting artist-teacher. She served the National Association of Singing Teachers as Governor of West Virginia and as Past President of the NATS Tri-State Chapter.
She currently performs with Voces Solis, a nonprofit choir in Pittsburgh, and is in demand as a guest clinician for master classes and for All-State and All-State Chamber Choir auditions, Solo and Ensemble Festivals, and more.
His passions include reaching out to elementary and middle school students with his “Opera Improv” workshops, serving on the National Alpha Chi Council, and being a member of the AB-Weirton Chapter.
A cash prize of $10,000 is given to the nominee selected as Teacher of the Year, with smaller prizes to other finalists.