Teacher of the Arts: Jennifer Frisina

Music teacher Jennifer Frisina is hitting a high note. Last November, she was named Orchestra Director of the Year by the N.C. Music Educators Association. She is the orchestra director at Randolph IB and Alexander Graham middle schools. At Community School of the Arts, she teaches private cello lessons and directs the summer band and orchestra camps.

Early start: In seventh grade, Frisina's junior high school orchestra director, Arthur Yagello, made a big impression. "He just inspired me," she said. "I wanted to be an orchestra teacher." Frisina completed a bachelor's degree in music education from Jacksonville University in 1977 and, a year later, earned a master's degree from Florida State University.

Greatest lesson: Not all of my students are going to end up being symphony players or conductors, she said. But she hopes they realize that there's an art to it.

Time to play: Frisina has performed in local productions, churches and weddings: "I think it's one of the best gifts you can give." She played her son's wedding and thankfully made it through without crying.