Erin Ellington began as a Hayes School of Music instructor in 2022 following 18 years as a pK-8 music educator with experience teaching in both urban and rural settings across North Carolina, Illinois, and Indiana. Erin served as clinical educator for Appalachian State University, on the Lighthouse Team for a Leader in Me school, and as a Framework Specialist, developing content and lessons for arts educators aligned with her district’s teacher evaluation tool. She was named the 2020 Watauga County Schools Teacher of the Year and the 2021 Burroughs Wellcome Fund Northwest Region Teacher of the Year. Since joining the Hayes School of Music, Erin has realized how invaluable music and creativity is for all ages. Erin is passionate about teacher leadership and equity in arts education.