Susan E. Basalik knew that she wanted to be a teacher by the time she reached second grade, inspired by her own teachers and several relatives who were also teachers. After achieving her bachelor’s degree, she joined the Methacton School District in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, where she has worked for the last four decades, teaching music to third, fourth, fifth and sixth grade students. Specializing in string instruments, Ms. Basalik’s primary instrument is the cello, but she also holds proficiency in 12 other instruments, including the violin, viola and bass, as part of the teaching requirements for the state of Pennsylvania. Over the years, she has furthered her expertise with a Master of Education from Temple University in 1987 and an additional master’s degree in education technology from Wilson College in 2020.
Attributing much of her success to her willingness to be outgoing, flexible and to listen to other points of view, Ms. Basalik stands out in her field for her abiding love of what she does. She loves teaching children and cites her students as her greatest source of motivation over the years, particularly having the opportunity to make music with them and getting to see their excitement when they perform. Her absolute favorite part of her career is getting to see her students grow as both people and musicians. She notes that at least six of her students have gone on to become music teachers in their own right, while others have become teachers in different fields. One of her former students even works alongside her in the Methacton School District.
Alongside her primary responsibilities, Ms. Basalik has donated her time to her community as well. She has served as a conductor for three orchestras and has performed at a variety of concerts on both the state and national level. Furthermore, she serves on the state boards of the Pennsylvania-Delaware String Teachers Association and the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association, the latter of which she is also a frequent volunteer with, doing work locally and statewide. Ms. Basalik also holds membership with the Pennsylvania Association for Educational Computing Technology in an effort to remain up to date with new developments in her field.
Ms. Basalik has accomplished much over the course of her career as an elementary and middle school music teacher. One particular point of pride for her has been the performances of her sixth grade orchestra, which has won several vocal awards for their performances. Ms. Basalik herself was recognized with a Distinguished Service Award from the Country Music Association in 2019 and two Distinguished Service Awards from the Pennsylvania-Delaware String Teachers Association, first in 2009 and again in 2016. She has also been named a Keystone Technology Innovator Star. Above all these accolades, Ms. Basalik considers her most notable achievement to be coming to school every day to impart her love of music to her students.
Looking toward the future, Ms. Basalik is starting to plan for retirement, though she hopes to continue to be involved as a consultant for music education, tech education or some combination of both, and perhaps make a return to studio teaching. Furthermore, she would greatly enjoy the opportunity to have more time for her hobbies, which include crafting, cycling, running, sports and traveling with her husband.
Happily married to husband Kenneth, an archeologist, for over 35 years, she is the proud mother of one son, who has become a music teacher himself and teaches at a school about an hour away from her. Cultivating a legacy as a person who cared greatly for her students and was passionate about teaching, Ms. Basalik would advise young and aspiring professionals to work hard to earn the respect of your students and colleagues and to keep your passion going.