About The Directors

Joanne Houston - Director of Music
Cheryl Richardson - Chorus, Colorguard, General Music
Ron Goodwin - Instrumental Music, Percussion, General Music, TV Production

Joanne Houston has been the Director of Music in the Rochester Public Schools for the past two decades.  She began her tenure at Spaulding High School and Spaulding Junior High School in September of 1984.  Joanne attended the Boston Conservatory of Music and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education in 1980 at the University of Connecticut in Storrs.  She began her teaching career in the Windham Central Supervisory Union in Newfane, Vermont and taught grades K-8 within seven surrounding towns where she developed an elementary and middle school music program.  

When starting at Spaulding in 1984, Joanne taught concert band, marching band, jazz band, and music theory to students in grades 7-12.  In September of 1986, with the restructuring of the music department staff, Joanne became both the choral and instrumental music director and also the director of the Spaulding High School Masque and Dagger Drama Club.  Since that point the music department has grown significantly adding two additional directors and providing instruction for approximately 500 students in music and dramatic arts each year.

In May 1994, Joanne earned a Master of Education Degree in the field of administration and supervision from the University of New Hampshire in Durham.  She is a certified school principal in the State of New Hampshire and has recently completed her Education Specialist Degree at the University of New Hampshire as well as her Superintendent Certification.  

Joanne has been recognized with many awards throughout her tenure, both locally and nationally.  
  • 1987    President’s Award at Plymouth State University
  • 1988    Host of the New Hampshire Music Festival
  • 1992    RFT Teacher of the Year
  • 1993    City of Rochester Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Community
  • 1994    Student Leadership Clinician at New England Band Director’s Institute
  • 1996    American Legion Patriotic Citizen Award
  • 1997    City of Rochester recognized for Excellence in the Arts by President’s Committee on the Arts.
  • 1999    Outstanding Music Educator Disney American Teacher Award National Nominee.
  • 2000    Recognized for Teaching Excellence by the Christa Corrigan McAuliffe Foundation as one of “Christa’s Teacher’s”
  • 2000    Rochester Jaycees Teacher of the Year
  • 2000    Rochester Business and Professional Women’s Club Woman of Achievement Award.
  • 2001    Guest Lecturer MENC Student Chapter at Plymouth State University
  • 2002    New Hampshire Teacher of the Year Nominee
  • 2003    National magazine, School Band and Orchestra, 50 Directors Who Make a Difference Award, chosen as the Band Director for the State of New Hampshire.
  • 2005    Spaulding High School Band chosen to perform at George W. Bush’s Inaugural Festivities, January 2005 Washington, D.C.  SHS Band one of two band chosen to perform on the Today Show and Good Morning America Show on national television.
  • 2007    Rochester Schools Employee of the Month December
  • 2007    National Magazine, School Band and Orchestra, 50 Directors Who Make a Difference Award, chosen as the Band Director  for the State of New Hampshire recognized a second time for this prestigious award.
  • 2009    Recognized for 25 years of service to the Rochester Schools.
  • 2011    Recognized for contributions to the Rochester Veteran’s Association.
  • 2012    Awarded 2012 Outstanding Band Director by the New Hampshire Band Directors Association.  News article.