Teacher of the Week: Charlotte Smurthwaite
Being better than just good enough — Dimond High School Choir Director Charlotte Smurthwaite pushes her students to sing to their full potential.
“She doesn’t quit. She doesn’t let us do less than we’re capable of,” said senior Amber Anderson.
Described as “dedicated” and “hardworking,” Smurthwaite expects the same from her students.
“Hopefully they learn that in spite of hard work, and I work them hard, that they can have fun working hard,” Smurthwaite explained. “They can learn that perfection, not so much perfection, but doing something really well takes lots of repetition, lots of time.”
Now in her fourth year teaching at Dimond, Smurthwaite previously taught middle school music in Glendale, California. During that time, she also served as a voice coach for the highly regarded Los Angeles Children’s Chorus.
“I do what I do because I love them [her students] and I care about them and want them to have a good experience,” said Smurthwaite. “And I have to check in with them once in awhile and make sure that they know I love them.”
Her love of music started at home, when Smurthwaite was just a baby. Her mother would often sing to her.
“And I remember sitting in her lap and hearing her voice and feeling the vibrations in her chest, and she would sing me lullabies and it just taught my ears and my throat what to do and I just started singing at a very young age and kept going,” Smurthwaite said.