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James Bennett, McLoughlin Middle School Band Teacher, Inducted into Washington Music Hall of Fame

James Bennett, McLoughlin Middle School Band Teacher, Inducted into Washington Music Hall of Fame

On February 16, the Washington Music Education Association (WMEA) will bestow a prestigious honor upon James Bennett, band teacher at McLoughlin Middle School.

Bennett will be officially inducted into the WMEA Hall of Fame, a recognition reserved for educators who have exhibited exceptional support, inspiration, and outstanding contributions to the growth and development of music education in the state of Washington.

WMEA honors inductees with a place on the WMEA Wall of Fame, where their names are engraved on plaques. The induction of new Hall of Fame members occurs during the WMEA State Conference in even-numbered years, with up to 10 inductees selected per biennium.

McLoughlin Middle School Principal, Julia Dudley, expressed admiration for James Bennett, stating, “James Bennett radiates contagious optimism that uplifts his students and colleagues, making him a natural leader within the school community. He goes above and beyond to build lasting relationships and support his students' musical growth, fostering an environment of enthusiasm, fun, and positivity that resonates throughout the entire band program.”

James Bennett's impressive career in music education includes roles as a percussionist with the Yakima Symphony Orchestra from the early 1990s to 2021. His educational journey includes graduation from Shorecrest High School in Seattle in 1988, earning a BA in 1993 and an MA in 1995 from Central Washington University. Bennett joined the Selah School District in 1995 before becoming an integral part of the Pasco School District in 1997, where he continues to make a lasting impact.

In response to this distinguished honor, Bennett humbly remarked, "This honor is for the many fabulous students I’ve taught, their families, my colleagues, and my family. Thank you!"