Verrado High School Band Director named February Star Teacher

Published on in Star Teacher Program

(February 22, 2022…Phoenix, AZ) Buckeye’s Verrado High School music and band director Tracy Meldrum has been selected as the February Star Teacher by the Phoenix law firm of Burch & Cracchiolo, P.A.  She has been at Verrado since it’s opening in 2006 and has grown the band program from 9 to 96 members, competed in over 70 competitions, 13 state championships, and six state finals. The award comes with a check for $500 that can be used for anything needed for the music program not covered by the school budget, and the school received an additional check for $250 that can be used at the principal’s discretion.

Meldrum graduated from ASU in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in Music Education and received a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from NAU in 2019.

Meldrum was nominated by Chris Panneton who wrote (in part):

Verrado High School opened in 2006, and Tracy, hired straight out of college, inaugurated a band program with nine students. She knew she needed to be forward-thinking and creative to build a competitive and exceptional music program. Tracy possesses the talent to cultivate a respectable program with her love for music, sense of humor, and advocacy for kids. She encourages confidence in her students to express their passion for music and accepts everyone who shows interest, even if they have no experience. Tracy builds confidence by focusing on the students' strengths, listens to individual needs, and nurtures camaraderie, creating an environment where students feel welcomed into the Viper Vanguard family. Over the next 16 years, this "family" grew to 96 members, competed in over 70 competitions, ten state championships, and six state finals.

Tracy's stability is essential to innovate ideas and unity that impact the campus and community. Tracy's influence knows no bounds, from composing the fight song to building jazz and symphonic band, winter drumline and color guard, guitar and music theory classes. Believing that music should not be an "elitist" program, Tracy creates ways to offset costs through fundraising, arranging music, and writing drills. She builds partnerships with feeder schools by performing assemblies and facilitating music mentoring between high school and middle school students. One of Tracy's greatest traditions is leading her students in singing "Bridge Over Troubled Water" after every performance as they embrace one another in a tight-knit circle.

Tracy's assurance not only impacts students but colleagues and professionals as well. As a member of Verrado's Leadership Team and the district's Fine Arts Department Chair, she is a respected leader advocating for quality programs that develop students.

A Valley teacher is chosen each month to receive $500 through a nominating process on the firm’s website Nominations are accepted from students, former students and parents who wish to honor and thank a teacher who has had a profound impact on their life. Many teachers spend their own money to augment the costs of classroom supplies, field trips and other non-covered costs that arise throughout the school year. B&C hopes to alleviate that burden for one deserving teacher each month. In addition, the school where the educator teaches receives a check for $250 to be used at their discretion.

Nominations are open to all teachers in K-12 who teach in Maricopa County. Winners will be notified and then presented a check at their school by a member of Burch & Cracchiolo. Photos and/or video will be taken to post on the firm website and social media. To nominate go to, click on the “Nominate a Star Teacher” button and tell us why you think your teacher deserves the B&C Star Teacher Award.

About Burch & Cracchiolo, P.A.

Now with 40 attorneys, Burch & Cracchiolo is one of the Southwest's premier law firms. The firm was founded in 1970 by Haze Burch and Dan Cracchiolo and today the firm’s lawyers are among the most highly regarded and recognized leaders in the areas of business and corporate law, construction, criminal defense, estate and wealth preservation planning, family law, finance, intellectual property, labor and employment, litigation, personal injury and insurance defense, real estate, and tax law. The firm has a long history of giving back to the community through non-profit sponsorships, donations, and volunteer efforts.

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