Inducted in 2018
Avian Bear taught for forty-three years. Her career began in Perry and
Coweta, Oklahoma, followed by Lawrence High School, Free State High
School and Blue Valley High School in Kansas.
As the director to open Free State High School in 1997, Avian worked to
bring the Free State band to a KMEA performance in 2000, followed by a
BOA National Concert Band Festival top tier performance in 2001. She
became the KMEA State Band chair in 2001 and hosted the first live
audition for the 2003 KMEA All-State Band. The Mayor of Lawrence
recognized her as an Outstanding Educator in 2004.
After coming to Blue Valley High in 2006, the BV Band was chosen to
perform at KMEA in 2009 and Avian began her six-year journey as State
KMEA President from 2011 through 2017. During her Presidency a
Special Needs Chair position was added to the State Advisory Board to
help teachers across the state create better music curriculum for ALL of
their students. She also began the process of dividing the highly populated
Northeast District into the two more manageably sized East Central and
Northeast Districts to involve more teachers and more students in musical
KSHSAA and NFHS recognized Avian as the Outstanding Kansas Music
Educator in 2016 for her service to the profession. In 2017, the BV Band
was chosen once again to perform at KMEA, and Avian received the
Northeast District Outstanding High School Band Director Award. KMEA
then recognized Avian as the KMEA Teacher of the Year in 2017.