Lydia Atkins Chorus and Drama Teacher at Mount Airy High School
Lydia Atkins earned her Bachelor of Music Education from Appalachian State University in May of 2022. She is currently in her first year of teaching at Mount Airy High School as the director of choral and theatre arts, as well as teaching music appreciation. In her free time, Ms. Atkins likes to hike, paint, and spend time with her friends and family. Ms. Atkins can be contacted at [email protected]
Meredith Dowdy Band Director at Mount Airy Middle School
Meredith Dowdy received a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Salem College in 2014. She began her career as a music teacher for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. She was the band, chorus and guitar teacher at North Stokes High School in Danbury, NC from 2015 to 2019. Ms. Dowdy taught music at Jones Intermediate School and B. H. Tharrington Primary School in 2019 to 2021. She also taught chorus, theatre, and music appreciation at Mount Airy High School during the 2021-2022 school year.. In her free time, Ms. Dowdy loves to read, travel, and spend time with her family, friends, and dogs. Contact Ms. Dowdy at [email protected]
Nicky Gordon Art Teacher at B.H. Tharrington and Jones Intermediate.
Nicky Gordon received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk and taught 5th grade for eleven years at Surry County Schools. She is married and has one daughter.
Nicky enjoys traveling, art, music, drama, dance and loves dogs. Included in the family a grumpy Schnauzer and a silly Shih Tzu.
Nicky took time away from teaching to be at home with her daughter and also worked for her mother at her graphic art and design studio learning new skills for a few years. When Nadia started school, Nicky returned to teaching and this time around wanted to follow her heart and share her love for art with her students.
Before coming to BHT and Jones, Nicky taught Elementary Art in WSFC Schools for four years traveling between five schools. Nicky lives in Mt. Airy and is excited to be teaching closer to home. She is a graduate of MASH 1990! Go BEARS! Contact Nicky at [email protected]
Nick Tirpak, a native of Apex, North Carolina, currently serves as the Director of Bands at Mount Airy High School in Mount Airy, North Carolina. Under his direction, the band has seen notable growth and enrollment in the past year. Within this role, he leads and directs the Marching Granite Bears, Concert Band, and is an advisor for the Tri-M Music Honor Society. With his guidance, the Mount Airy High School Concert Band received straight superiors at Music Performance Adjudication in March 2023, the first time the band attended in nearly 40 years. Mr. Tirpak’s students consistently receive superior and excellent ratings at Solo and Ensemble MPA, participate in county and district honor band clinics and in various college music programs. Mr. Tirpak was named the “Mount Airy City Schools Beginning Teacher of the Year” for the 2023-2024 school year.
Mr. Tirpak is a graduate of Western Carolina University where he earned his Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Science in Education. During his time, he served in numerous leadership positions including “Brass Caption Coordinator” with the Pride of the Mountains Marching Band. In this role, he gained valuable experience with teaching the 500-person ensemble and worked closely with the brass on marching and visual technique. In 2022, Nick was the recipient of the “Outstanding Prospective Teacher” award from the Western Carolina University College of Education and Allied Professions, as well as the “Richard M. Renfro Academic Achievement Award” from the Western Carolina University School of Music.
Mr. Tirpak holds professional affiliations with the National Association for Music Educators (NAfME), the North Carolina Music Educators Association (NCMEA), and the North Carolina Bandmasters Association (NCBA). He resides near Winston-Salem with his wife Megan and dog Gibby. Contact Mr. Tirpak at [email protected]