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2015 Teacher of the Year

01/28/2015 06:54AM, Published by Hood Magazine, Categories: Education, In Print, Community, Arts+Entertainment, Schools


Photo courtesy of studiofotografie


Gallery: 'Hood Magazine-2015 Teacher of the Year [17 Images] Click any image to expand.



By Jessica Brovold


If you’re a student in Mr. Ferri’s music class at Lawrence Elementary School in Canton, S.D., there’s a pretty good chance you’ve learned the “Lawrence Boogie.” The school-themed song gets the class off to a rockin’ start and gets the kids fully engaged.

“I love that I can share my greatest passion, the gift of music, with my students,” said Ferri.

The gift of music brings more than enthusiasm to the classroom. It’s a way for Ferri to connect in what he calls a “magical way.”

“Music gives energy, inspires hearts and provides a lifetime of enjoyment,” said Ferri. “Music is contagious! Sharing music is like offering someone a spoonful of magic!”

Ferri has been a music teacher for the past 13 years. From Nebraska to Colorado and now Canton, he says the kids make his job so rewarding.

“I find rewards in the success of each student,” said Ferri. “Whether it’s a kindergartner finding their steady beat for the first time, or a student making All-State, their joy affirms the value of my efforts.”

And his efforts don’t go unnoticed. Gabe Devitt is a second year principal at Lawrence Elementary. His daughter is also in kindergarten at the school. She can’t seem to get enough of what she’s learning in Mr. Ferri’s class.

“My kindergartner sings songs and I ask her who taught her that song,” said Devitt. “She says, “Mr. Ferri!”

“The way he gets it across to his kids, he shows it’s important to him and that carries over to the kids,” said Devitt. “His personality is good for a music teacher, whether its kindergarten, or 5th grade, he tailors the music to them and the instruction.”

When Emerson T, a 4th grader was writing up her nomination for Teacher of the Year, she knew exactly who she would choose.

“He is always encouraging and he wants you to do your best,” said Emerson. “He’s willing to take time out of his day to help other people.”

Mr. Ferri spends time helping students like Emerson with their singing. He plays piano and she sings along to popular songs like “Let it Go” from the movie Frozen.

While she’s only nine, Emerson says Mr. Ferri is helping to shape her future.

“I want to do something related to music,” said Emerson. “I want to try out for one of the TV shows and I want to grow up and do plays and be a Broadway actress. I’ve been doing plays since I was in kindergarten.”

With a music background between music ministry and music education, Ferri hopes he leaves a lasting impression on those he encounters.

“Music is a subject that transcends disabilities,” said Ferri. “Everyone can find a measure of success in music, both vocal and instrumental. There are no benchwarmers in music. Performance is a holistic experience, from the sixth chair clarinet to the first chair trombone—every musician has value!”

 ‘Hood’s 2015 Teacher of the Year

Mr. Ferri

Lawrence Elementary Music Teacher

Canton, SD

“Mr. Ferri loves to help people and is VERY enthusiastic. He trains individuals to help them be better musicians. He has worked very hard to get our small town elementary school in all-state honor choir when most small towns don’t. He sows us pentatonix videos to get us more interested in music. He loves music and wants us to love it too!”

Nominated by Emerson T.


Special thanks to Jill Melchert Insurance Agency for being this year's sponsor!





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    After a long winter indoors, it will be nice to celebrate nature as the weather warms up. Create ...


  • New Baby & Me

    04/06/2017
    01:30PM — 03:30PM

    This group for new moms and their babies meets weekly. Moms can join in open discussion on topics...


  • Sanford PROMISE Community Lecture Series

    04/06/2017
    05:30PM — 06:30PM

    Science minded individuals in our community can learn about the science research being performed ...


  • One Glass Too Many Cake at Sugars

    04/06/2017
    06:30PM — 08:30PM

    Cake and wine go together...right?? On this fun cake, the wine glass has tipped right over and dr...


  • Playgroup for Toddlers and Preschoolers

    04/07/2017
    10:00AM — 12:00PM

    Play Groups are specifically for kids and their caregivers. Gather your friends at our “house” to...


  • Fun and Fit Day for children 6 and under

    04/07/2017
    10:00AM — 12:00PM

    Ride, run, jump, and jam! Join Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation and participate in fitness-relate...


  • Easter Bunny at Sioux Empire Mall

    04/07/2017
    11:00AM — 08:00PM

    IT'S TIME FOR EASTER BUNNY PHOTOS He'll be waiting for you Center Court. Simply go to simon.noe...


  • Free First Friday

    04/07/2017
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    Join us for Free First Fridays, whether you are new to the area, new to the Pavilion, or even a r...


  • Pavilion Free First Fridays

    04/07/2017
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    Join us for Free First Fridays, whether you are new to the area, new to the Pavilion, or even a r...


  • Little All Stars

    04/07/2017
    06:30PM — 07:20PM

    -Ages: Walking - 6 years -10 punches per card -Cards do not expire


  • Rodgers + Hammerstein's CINDERELLA

    04/07/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA is the Tony Award®- winning Broadway musical from the creators...


  • Little All Stars

    04/08/2017
    09:00AM — 09:50AM

    -Ages: Walking - 6 years -10 punches per card -Cards do not expire


  • SFLS Craft & Vendor Fair

    04/08/2017
    09:00AM — 02:00PM

    Come on out for a day of shopping! Food Trucks, Craft Vendors, Gifts, Face Painting, Baby Gifts, ...


  • Super 2nd Saturday

    04/08/2017
    10:00AM — 02:00PM

    Super 2nd Saturday is a special new program for our patrons! Each month features new exciting, ed...


  • Super Second Saturdays

    04/08/2017
    10:00AM — 02:00PM

    Super 2nd Saturday is a special new program for our patrons! Each month features new exciting, ed...


  • Spring Party

    04/08/2017
    10:00AM — 11:30AM

    Hop on over to Morningside Community Center. We will be playing games, making friends and making ...


  • Tee-Ball

    04/08/2017
    10:00AM — 10:45AM

    Come to this intro class on tee-ball.where you can learn to play the sport or practice the skills...


  • Easter Bunny at Sioux Empire Mall

    04/08/2017
    10:00AM — 08:00PM

    IT'S TIME FOR EASTER BUNNY PHOTOS He'll be waiting for you Center Court. Simply go to simon.noe...


  • R is for Robot

    04/08/2017
    10:30AM — 11:30AM

    It's a robot party. Come join Chip, Sprocket, and all the other robots as we explore all thing ro...


  • Infant CPR

    04/08/2017
    11:00AM — 12:00PM

    Monthly on the second Saturday


  • Tee-Ball

    04/08/2017
    11:00AM — 11:45AM

    Come to this intro class on tee-ball.where you can learn to play the sport or practice the skills...


  • ATTENTION RETURNING CAMPERS! RECONNECT WITH YOUR CAMP FRIENDS! PLAY YOUR FAVORITE CAMP SPORT! ...


  • Saturday Cookie Decorating Days

    04/08/2017
    02:00PM — 04:30PM

    Call us by Friday 605-978-0991 and you can come in and decorate cookies on Saturday! We do cookie...


  • Rodgers & Hammerstein's CINDERELLA

    04/08/2017
    02:00PM — 05:00PM

    Rodgers + Hammerstein's CINDERELLA Mary W. Sommervold Hall Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA i...


  • Super Saturday's

    04/08/2017
    06:00PM — 08:00PM

    We are bringing back our Saturday night open gym! Every Saturday night from 6-8pm! Anyone ages 6-...


  • R is for Robot

    04/08/2017
    06:15PM — 07:15PM

    It's a robot party. Come join Chip, Sprocket, and all the other robots as we explore all thing ro...


  • Rodgers + Hammerstein's CINDERELLA

    04/08/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA is the Tony Award®- winning Broadway musical from the creators...


  • Rodgers & Hammerstein's CINDERELLA

    04/08/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    Rodgers + Hammerstein's CINDERELLA Mary W. Sommervold Hall Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA i...



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