UMS Announces DTE Energy Foundation School of the Year and Educator of the Year Awards

Awards Honor Allen Elementary School (Ann Arbor) and Wines Elementary School Teacher Beth McNally

Ann Arbor, MI — The University Musical Society (UMS) and the DTE Energy Foundation are pleased to honor Allen Elementary School as the 2016 DTE Energy Foundation School of the Year and Ann Arbor Public School teacher Beth McNally (Wines Elementary) as the 2016 DTE Energy Foundation Educator of the Year. The recipients were nominated through a public nomination process and will be honored at UMS’s Ovation gala, on Saturday, May 14 at the Crisler Center’s Hall of Honors (333 E Stadium Blvd., Ann Arbor, MI 48109). DTE Energy Foundation is sponsoring the awards as part of a $50,000 annual grant to UMS Youth Education Programs.

“The DTE Energy Foundation is dedicated to strengthening the communities that we are so privileged to serve,” said Faye Nelson, vice president of DTE Energy and president of the DTE Energy Foundation. “Education is at the core of this mission, and we recognize that exposure to the arts makes a critical difference in the lives of our region's young people. We congratulate both Allen Elementary School and Beth McNally for the continued encouragement of their students to appreciate music and the arts."

The DTE Energy Foundation School of the Year award honors Allen Elementary School for its dedication and commitment to arts education. Allen Elementary has become a model among its peers in the integration of arts into the curriculum, in large part because of the collaborative nature of its art and music teachers, Deb Campbell and Kimberly Coulson-Mobley. Campbell and Coulson-Mobley work consistently with the school’s classroom teachers to incorporate the arts with the students’ daily academic curriculum. With the support of principal Kerry Beal, the two teachers actively seek opportunities for teaching artists to participate in in-school workshops and assemblies, which has resulted in fruitful partnerships with organizations such as UMS and the Kennedy Center. Coulson-Mobley has taken leadership roles within the Ann Arbor Public Schools’ music department and with statewide organizations, including Michigan's Model Arts Education Instruction and Assessment Project, where she works to write and pilot assessments to support educators and the public in implementing high-quality arts education programs and improving instructional offerings in the four arts disciplines of dance, music, theater, and visual arts.

“We are so grateful for the DTE Energy Foundation’s longstanding support of UMS and its recognition of the value and excellence of UMS’s artistic and educational endeavors. In partnership with DTE Energy Foundation, UMS is thrilled to honor Allen Elementary School’s commitment to making the arts an integral part of our community’s early education,” said UMS President Kenneth C. Fischer. “Their infusion of the arts into the students’ daily curriculum is exemplary, and the work they do to empower fellow educators in the region to excel in arts-integration is crucial.”

Beth McNally is honored as the DTE Energy Foundation Educator of the Year for her passionate commitment to integrating the arts into the core curriculum of Wines Elementary School in Ann Arbor. McNally is especially praised for her exceptional use of arts-integration through her concert performance program, which comprises popular and classic songs, each selected and arranged to reflect the curricular topics of the students’ respective grade levels. Through these performances, McNally teaches music technique while also supporting her fellow classroom teachers by integrating content such as science, history, geography, and language arts. In addition to these grade level concerts, McNally directs the fifth grade chorus and prepares programs for the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebrations and fifth grade graduation ceremonies. Encouraged by McNally, many Wines Elementary School students are members of the Ann Arbor Youth Chorale and perform with local companies, including Young People’s Theatre and the University of Michigan’s School of Music Theatre & Dance. Her students also attend concerts and performances in the community, both with their classes and with their families, outside of school. A member of the co-operating teacher network for the U-M School of Music Theatre & Dance’s Music Education department, McNally accepts one or two students from the program to work alongside her in the classroom each year. She is also a member of the UMS Choral Union and Secretary of the Ann Arbor Youth Chorale Board.

Ken Fischer noted, “Here at UMS, we strive to inspire a cultural curiosity in our community’s youth. We’re proud to honor Beth McNally for her remarkable work inspiring an early foundation of appreciation for the arts. It brings us great joy to see the enthusiasm she sparks in her students; it’s evidence that her collaborative approach, thoughtful programming, and commitment to instilling a love of performance is truly instrumental in keeping a passion for the arts alive for generations to come."

Visit Celebrating DTE Educator of the Year for more information and video content.


The DTE Energy Foundation is the philanthropic arm of DTE Energy, continuing the legacy of community support and involvement of its electric and natural gas utilities, which serve 2.1 million electric customers in Southeast Michigan and 1.2 million natural gas customers in Michigan. In 2015, the DTE Energy Foundation provided $15 million in grant support to nonprofits throughout the company’s service territories. As one of Michigan's leading corporate citizens, DTE Energy is a force for growth and prosperity in the 450 Michigan communities it serves in a variety of ways, including philanthropy, volunteerism and economic progress.


One of the oldest performing arts presenters in the country, UMS (also known as the University Musical Society) contributes to a vibrant cultural community by connecting audiences with performing artists from around the world in uncommon and engaging experiences. UMS is an independent non-profit organization affiliated with the University of Michigan, presenting over 70 music, theater, and dance performances by professional touring artists each season, along with over 100 free educational activities. UMS is part of the University of Michigan’s “Victors for Michigan” campaign, reinforcing its commitment to bold artistic leadership, engaged learning through the arts, and access and inclusiveness. UMS was awarded the 2014 National Medal of Arts by President Obama.

For further information: Mallory Schirr, UMS Marketing & Media Relations Coordinator, 734.647.4020, or Randi Berris, DTE Energy Foundation, 313.235.5555,