This fall, Chair of the Performing Arts Department and this year’s J.P. Mandler Teaching Award winner Sarah Armstrong was presented with an Outstanding Educator Award from The University of Chicago, IL! She was nominated for her excellence in teaching and mentorship by Yurou Li ’21, who is now part of the University of Chicago Carillon Guild. Sarah was Yurou’s advisor and taught Yurou singing, theater, and to play the carillon.
A founding member of Canterbury’s Carillon Guild, Yurou passed the Associate Carillonneur's exam in the summer of 2021 and is now a member of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America (GCNA). In addition to playing in UChicago’s prestigious Carillon Guild, she has been hired to play once a month at St. Chrysostom's Episcopal Church in Lincoln Park in Chicago. Yurou was a member of the Canterbury Honor Society and received the Frederick L. Gilson ’50 Award for excellence in the study of the Carillon; the Allan A. Ryan Award for excellence in the study of History; and the Captain Thomas J. Sartor Award for excellence in the study of science. Yurou’s letter of nomination included a note to Sarah, which read:
When I saw this award at UChicago [...], your name jumped out indisputably. In the description, I talked about your “unswerving determination, gracious professionalism, patience, and love for your students,” all of which are qualities I admire so much and hope to one day have myself. For me, the title “outstanding educator” does not encompass the role you have played in my life. You have been my guide, supporter, teacher, critic, and defender. Thank you for teaching me to love singing, acting, and playing the carillon, and also for teaching me how to identify good relationships, manage my schedule, and have fun. You will continue to inspire me even when I’m away. I know I will continue to “explore the freedom of not living up to expectations.” Lots of love!
“The highest honor for me, as a teacher, is to see my students leave the hilltop and take with them what they learned during our time together,” said Sarah. “Yurou is thriving at UChicago and has found her "people" within the Carillon Guild. I am sure we will be watching her star blaze across the sky for many years to come! I'm so proud of her!”
We’re proud of them both—and congratulations, Sarah!