Outstanding Administrator Award
2016 - Mr. Dustin Nielsen, Boone Central High School

The Outstanding Administrator Award honors an administrator for his/her support, interest, and encouragement of the school instrumental music program. At this time I would like to invite Whitney Paulson to the podium for the presentation of this honor.

The Nebraska State Bandmasters Association is proud to present our annual Outstanding Administrator Award to Mr. Dustin Nielsen, of Boone Central High School. This award is intended to honor an administrator in the state of Nebraska, for demonstrating support, interest, and encouragement of the school’s instrumental music program. Band directors from across the state nominate administrators for this award.

Whitney Paulson, Band Director at Boone Central High School, stated in her nomination letter, "I had the opportunity to help with the interviews for Dustin, Nielsen's hiring as Activities Director for Boone Central and was thrilled to see a former art teacher within the interview pool. He got the job and that summer he e-mailed me a dozen times making sure things were ready to go for the first days of school. He ensured the pep-band had typed up plans for pep-rallies, made sure the band was announced and thanked during the games, and had buses lined up well in advance for our many events. At first I thought he was just really organized and trying to impress everyone. Well, both things are true, but it wasn’t just a show. It has continued. Dustin has continually put information in the daily announcements encouraging students attend the band performances and congratulations to students when they make honor bands. When bad weather struck before our Conference Honor Band Dustin was the first to call and help me make a plan. Two years ago school was cancelled the day before District Music Contest, which we were hosting. I was near tears trying to figure out how to get the building ready without student help then a text came; “Let me know when you are going in to set up for District Music. I will meet you and help.”

A former student writes Mr. Nielsen has made it his goal to attend all performances that the band has. He travelled to Norfolk High School last year in order to make it to our District Music Contest performance. He always shows up with a smile on his face and makes the band’s accomplishments a big deal within the school. Along with attending our performances, Mr. Nielsen has helped find a balance between cheerleaders, dance team and band playing time during games. Mr. Nielsen also made it possible for students to attend Honor Bands throughout the year, including making buses and school vans available to the band program, and he is always willing to take us to the honor bands and other band related activities. All in all, Mr. Nielsen makes the band program feel loved and appreciated. Much of our school is so focused on sports that they forget to appreciate the music program. Mr. Nielsen makes sure to give the band program the proper acknowledgments in all things that they do.

Whitney also stated that Dustin continues to impress. As we transitioned to a new choir director many duties of the previous choir director fell to me, and I reached a breaking point. Without me having to ask, Dustin stepped in and took some of the burden off of my shoulders. His communication about upcoming events is probably the biggest benefit to the band students. Details simply do not get missed. In the weeks leading up to hosting the Conference Band event Dustin checked in with me daily to see what our needs were. He even took care of contracts getting to the clinicians and dealt with the paperwork and the check requests at the office. Without Dustin it would not be possible for my students to participate in as many honor bands as they do and our home events would be much more stressful. Dustin has covered custodial duties, set up and run the video camera, helped students clean up after a performance AND brought food to the pot-luck banquet. Simply put, he takes care of us. I cannot imagine how he keeps his schedule straight or makes time for his wonderful wife and two young sons, but he is at everything. Even in a week with three home basketball games a wrestling meet and a cheerleading camp Dustin took the time stop into the band room and congratulate students on making an honor band.

I’m quite certain there are many other amazing administrators that care for their own band just as much as Mr. Nielsen cares for our band. However, he has spoiled us the past four years and I cannot remember how we functioned before he came to Boone Central.

Nebraska State Bandmasters Association
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