Sally Sansbury named NCTM Teacher of the Year

April 17 was the day that our “Best In The Nation” local affiliate of Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) was to have held our Spring Conference. Instead, we were at home.

At this spring meeting each year, we announce the Nationally Certified Music Teacher of the Year for our district. Our local winner then represents us when the  Ohio Music Teachers Association (OMTA) selects its state winner later in the year.

The 2020 Central-East Nationally Certified Music Teacher of the Year is Sally Liew Sansbury, NCTM.  Sally started teaching at a young age and is now recognized as a Master Teacher, with a home studio in Northwest Columbus. She became nationally certified by MTNA in 2004. Area piano teachers seek Sally’s help with their own playing and teaching, and with their advanced students. Sally has earned three Diplomas from Trinity College, London; a Bachelor Degree in Piano Performance and Music Education from Ohio Wesleyan University; and Master of Arts and Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance and Piano Pedagogy from the Ohio State University School of Music.

Sally has been very actively involved in OMTA and MTNA for over 20 years. She served four years Co-Chair of the Graves Competition, five years as chair of Buckeye Auditions, four years as Publicity Chairman, two years as Co-Chair of Summer Music Scholarships, and is currently Vice President of Student Competitions. She is a leader in the field of music teaching, giving freely of her time to MTNA. In her acceptance of this award, Ms. Sansbury says. “It was divine providence that brought me to Ohio Wesleyan University, because one day I happened to see this plaque on the walls of Sanborn Hall and instinctively knew it was something significant –

A Landmark of American Music
Site of the Founding of
Music Teachers
National Association

Monnett Hall, 1876
By Theodore Presser
100th Anniversary

Going through graduate school at OSU, I worked with fabulous teachers and made life-long musician friends.  Then I got involved with CEOMTA and realized what a vibrant organization it was.  I learned tremendously from all the conferences and workshops I’ve attended over the years, worked alongside music colleagues and made friends along the way.  All of this have helped mold me into the person I am today.  I am so thankful that someone like Theodore Presser had the foresight to start a music department at OWU and then to establish the first music organization in America.  The fact that CEOMTA is recognized as the Best District of the Year in 2020 perhaps reflect its roots in the founding place of MTNA. “ 

Sally Sansbury is an active performer in the Central Ohio Community. She is a collaborative pianist with Simply Classique and the Trois Femmes de Musique chamber music trio, and accompanist for vocalists, instrumentalists, and choral groups. She is also active in Columbus Piano Guild, Women in Music, Worthington Music Club and Ohio Federation of Music Clubs.

Congratulations to Sally Sansbury, NCTM.  We salute you as our Nationally Certified Teacher of the Year and thank you for being such a fine role model for our profession.

Janice Cook, CEOMTA Certification Chairman

April, 2020

Sally’s acceptance speech can be found below.

A message from the OhioMTA Foundation Fellow Chair

I am reaching out to you to ask you to help us honor Sheila Vail as our Foundation Fellow this year. We are $639 short of achieving our goal of $1,500 before January.

Donations to the Fellow program enable MTNA to fund awards for the association and its students, as well as provide grants for members and affiliate organizations to further the cause of music. Each year new MTNA Fellows are recognized at the MTNA National Conference.

As you know Sheila has served in many capacities at the local and state levels in addition to her role as professional teacher of piano. She is frequent clinician and guest speaker at college and university pedagogy departments, teacher organizations and professional conferences. Currently, she is serving on the Ohio Music Teachers Association State Executive Board as the State Student Certificate Program Chair.

Our goal is to raise at least $1,500 in Sheila’s name by January 11th, 2019. Contributions can be made with credit card online through the online donation system on the MTNA Foundation Fund website at, made payable to the MTNA Foundation Fellow. Be sure to indicate that your donation is for the Sheila Vail Foundation Fellow.

I hope that you will be able to contribute, so we can honor Sheila for all she has contributed to the music teaching profession.

Don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions.


Dr. Olga Rua
MTNA Foundation Fellow Chair
(319) 621-7042

Nominations now open for Certified Teacher of the Year

Nominations are now being accepted for our District Nationally Certified Teacher of the Year. Please read about the process on page 7 of the Activities Guide handbook, where you can see a list of all the previous winners, or at this link:

Certified Teacher of the Year

Any nationally certified teacher is eligible to be nominated. Please think about your colleagues who have set high standards and who are role models to you and others. Take the time to nominate someone deserving of this award. Please note that our district winner goes on to be considered for State Teacher of the Year. Thank you for your consideration.

Janice Cook, NCTM
CE Certification Chair