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Music students enter the big, blue music bus to rehearse with instructor Laura Tovar at Killian Elementary in Rowland Heights. (Staff photo by Watchara Phomicinda)

Music instructor Laura Tovar won the Bravo Award on March 7 from the LA Music Center.

Bravo! Bravo! Encore! Words every performer wants to hear at the end of a show. So it's little wonder that the Los Angeles Music Center calls its highest recognition the Bravo Awards. The annual competition honors teachers and schools for exemplary achievement in the arts. The Music Center believes all students deserve access to quality arts education. The Bravo Awards are one of the center's initiatives to strengthen arts education in Los Angeles County.

This year, Rowland Unified's own Laura Tovar won the coveted award. The human dynamo is well-known by staff and students throughout the district. Tovar has been teaching music for 35 years, the last quarter century in Rowland schools. Tovar was recognized for her excellent instruction as well as her sterling driving record. She drives one of the district's big blue music buses from school to school to teach instrumental music. We caught up to the traveling teacher after rush hour at Killian Elementary School. Her big, blue classroom rumbled up the school driveway in Rowland Heights. Waiting anxiously nearby were a group of her students, ready to pounce on Tovar as soon as the big blue door opened. "Bravo! Bravo! Bravo for Mrs. Tovar!" the kids yelled in unison. The tykes were obviously proud of their teacher, they had even made a sign congratulating the surprised instructor. "Thank you, thank you so much," said the blushing music teacher. Later, Tovar would take time to thank the students for making her job so enjoyable. "I won this award because of students like you. I love teaching," she told the assembled kids.

News By Richard Irwin Staff Writer

03/17/2011 Highlander