(ST. LOUIS) The St. Louis Symphony has named Paula Berner its 2014 Educator of the Year.  A 28-year veteran of the field, she currently teaches at the Special School District of St. Louis County’s Litzsinger School and is a true testament to both the power of music and perseverance. 

As an educator for children with special needs, Berner brings out the best in her students through music.   Every year, she organizes Litzsinger’s Holiday Musical, where every child plays a role, regardless of his or her disability.  Berner works with each child to tap into his or her musical talents:  the students sing, dance and even perform solos.  Berner’s students attend St. Louis Symphony education concerts annually at Powell Hall and have taken part in the Symphony Volunteer Association’s Instrument Playground program for several years.

“I’ve chosen to focus on what our kids can do, not what they can’t do.  I see their ability rather than their disability,” she explains.

Paula truly fulfills the St. Louis Symphony’s mission to enrich people’s lives through the power of music each day.  Music Director David Robertson will present Berner her award on stage at Powell Hall just prior to the Symphony’s May 10 performance.  She will also be interviewed that evening during the Symphony’s broadcast on St. Louis Public Radio, 90.7 – KWMU.

Saturday, May 10 at 8pm

DALBAVIE                            La Source d’un regard

BRITTEN                               Les Illuminations

TCHAIKOVSKY                   Symphony No. 5


*Founded in 1880 and now in its 134th season, the St. Louis Symphony is the second-oldest orchestra in the country and widely considered one of the world’s finest. In September 2005, internationally acclaimed conductor David Robertson became the 12th Music Director, the second American-born conductor to hold that post in the Orchestra’s history.  The St. Louis Symphony strives for artistic excellence, fiscal responsibility and community connection while meeting its mission statement:  enriching people’s live through the power of music. The Symphony presents a full season of classical programs and Live at Powell Hall concerts and hundreds of free education and community programs each year.  Media partners include St. Louis Public Radio, 90.7 –KWMU, which broadcasts the Symphony’s Saturday night subscription concerts live, and The Nine Network, which regularly features STL Symphony performances on its Living St. Louis program.