About Our Music Teachers
My name is Taylor Huwe and I am a music teacher at Prairie Elementary. I received my B.M. degree from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN where I specialized in vocal music education. After completing my studies, I worked at a Montessori school in Fargo leading a class of Kindergarten students before teaching English to grades 5-12 for a year in Germany under the Fulbright Program.
Teaching elementary students music, however, is one of the most rewarding experiences. Seeing the students engage in music and discover new ways of expressing themselves is a joy, while also seeing them grow as individuals.
Apart from teaching music, I enjoy spending time with my family, traveling, improving my German, and reading.
Melanie Loy currently teaches 4th grade Orchestra at Prairie Elementary School and directs Varsity Strings and the WHS Orchestra at Worthington High School. Since coming to Worthington in 2006, Mrs. Loy has guided the 4th-12th grade string program to grow from 90 students to over 300 students now playing orchestra instruments in School District 518.
Mrs. Loy earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. In 1983, she attended the Suzuki International Teachers Conference & Summer School Workshop in Matsumoto, Japan. In 2008 and 2010, she attended the Ohio State University String Teacher Summer Workshop in Columbus, OH.
Melanie is the proud parent of three children and blessed with four grandchildren. Phillip earned an Electrical Engineering degree from NDSU. His wife Maari is a Pharmacist and they have three children – Mabel, Jalen & Toby. Eric completed a PhD in English from the University of Rochester, New York and works for a company in New York City. Heather earned a Business and Communications degree from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. Heather is married to Jonah Oberloh from Worthington who earned his Computer Science degree from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. They have one son named Hudson.
In addition to orchestral teaching experiences, Mrs. Loy taught private lessons for ages 4 to adult (violin, viola, cello and bass), directed and choreographed children’s choirs for churches in North Dakota, South Dakota, Oregon and Florida and also performed on violin with several community orchestras in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oregon and Florida. Worthington Area Symphony Orchestra was founded in 2010 through leadership from Melanie Loy, Beth Habicht, Karen Pfeifer and Sue Simonson.
Debra Moe has been a music educator for the past 16 years teaching at all levels from K-12 grade in Georgia, Illinois, and Minnesota. She received her degree in Music education from the University of Northwestern in St. Paul, Minnesota with an emphasis in piano, choral, and voice. Besides teaching Debra enjoys playing and singing in church and community ensembles. Throughout her years of teaching Debra has conducted and directed a variety of school and community choral groups as well as several school and community theater groups. When not teaching or performing, Debra can be found cooking, traveling, and enjoying time with her family.
Mrs. Van Westen
My name is Linda Van Westen. I teach classroom music at Prairie Elementary. I received my B.A. in Music Education from Augsburg College and my M.A. in Education from St. Mary’s University. I started working for the Worthington School District in 1996. Before that, I taught music in Clarkfield, MN and prior to that, on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in McLaughlin, SD.
I really enjoy seeing children blossom and grow as people and musicians.
My husband, John, and I live in rural Lakefield. We have four children.