Renée Westlake received her BA in Music Education, ME in Curriculum and Instruction, and Ed.D in Educational Leadership. Further training includes an Administrative Endorsement, Carl Orff Institute of Music certification, World Music Drumming Curriculum certification, and master classes with Jean Pierre Rampal, Julius Baker, James Pellerite, James Galway and Carol Wincenc.
An educator in the Bozeman Public Schools (Montana) for nearly four decades, Dr. Westlake taught all levels of music and retired in 2015 as the Fine Arts Supervisor for the school district. She mentors young educators, trains administrators and teachers in student leadership development, presents coursework on various aspects of rigor and curriculum, provides consultation, teaches private music lessons, played in the Bozeman Symphony Orchestra for many years, and continues to perform chamber music.
Renée currently serves on the Governor's Montana Arts Council, oversees outreach programs for the Montana Chamber Music Society and BAM! (The Bozeman After-School Music program), and is active as an officer in Delta Kappa Gamma, a teaching honorary dedicated to promoting rigorous and relevant instruction for children of all ages. Renée has been active in NAfME: The National Association for Music Education, and has been President of the Northwest Division of NAfME, has served on the National Executive Board of NAfME, State President of the Montana Music Educators Association, President of the Montana General Music Teachers Association, District Festivals Chair, and State Evaluations Chair. Renée has been active as a board member and officer for the Montana Ballet Company, Bozeman Symphony, Montana Chamber Music Society and Arts Without Boundaries, and was a staff member at the Yellowstone Summer Music Camp in Powell, Wyoming for many years, a music camp for underserved rural students.
Renée is preparing to publish her first book, a teaching methodology, Growing Leadership: Mentoring Students in Schools, a practical guide to developing student leadership in the classroom.
She completed filming for a collaborative NAfME publication and project on building relationships with students through rigorous music education. Dr. Westlake is an active clinician at schools and education conferences in Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana, and is an adjudicator at district and state music festivals.
Renée has received numerous honors, including NAfME's Lowell Mason Fellow, the Montana State University Centennial Alumni Award, Montana Music Educators Association Leadership Award, National Public Radio's Excellence in Teaching Award, Music Educators Journal Top Teachers in the 50 States Award, National Federation of Interscholastic Music Association's Regional Educator of the Year, and NAfME Distinguished Service for Lifetime Achievement in Music Education. She has co-authored three NAfME publications, and has published articles in the official publications of the Montana, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming and Alaska Music Education Association.
Dr. Westlake is married to a grain farmer in Montana and has two grown daughters, two sons-in-law, one granddaughter and one grandson.