Fowler, Slusser Honored by NFHS

45 Individuals Receive NFHS Music and Speech/Debate/Theatre Educator Awards

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                Contact: James Weaver

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (March 11, 2022) – A total of 45 individuals were selected this year to receive Outstanding Educator Awards from the NFHS Music Association and the NFHS Speech/Debate/Theatre/Academics Association.

Twenty-three individuals were honored with Outstanding Music Educator Awards, including eight section and 15 state recipients, and 22 individuals received Outstanding Speech/Debate/Theatre Educator Awards, including eight section and 14 state recipients.

Since 1988 when the first Outstanding Speech/Debate/Theatre Educator Awards were presented, 238 individuals have received section awards and 386 have been honored with state awards. The Outstanding Music Educator Awards began a year later in 1989, and 198 individuals have received section awards and another 364 have been honored with state awards.

Following is information on some of this year’s award recipients:

2021-22 Outstanding Music Educator Awards

NFHS Music Association


Dr. Chris Fowler
Buford, Georgia
Section 3

Dr. Chris Fowler has been a music educator in Georgia since 1985. After teaching at Jonesboro Junior High School and Mount Zion High School, Fowler joined the Buford City School System, where he has worked as the fine arts coordinator since 1993.

Choral groups under Fowler’s direction have consistently received superior ratings in performance and sight reading at Georgia Music Educators Association (GMEA) performance evaluations. His groups have been invited to perform at the state GMEA conference four times. Fowler has also led his students to 13 Georgia High School Association (GHSA) State Literary team championships – including 11 consecutive – and 30 GHSA individual state vocal championships.

An accomplished conductor and pianist, Fowler has served as a guest clinician and conductor at numerous honor chorus events, and is in frequent demand by school, community and church groups. This year will mark the 25th time he will serve as the collaborative pianist to the Georgia All State Chorus. Fowler has also accompanied the Georgia All State Sight Reading Chorus 10 times.

Fowler is a tireless advocate for the arts in education and was the primary consultant for the construction of the Buford Fine Arts Center and the Performing Arts Building at Buford High School. He is also frequently invited to speak with decision-makers in other school districts regarding appropriate performing facilities for students.

Fowler served as a GMEA District vice chair from 1996 to 1998, was an advisory board member of the Gwinnett Philharmonic Orchestra from 1995 to 2008 and served on the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center Education Advisory Committee from 2007 to 2012.

A graduate of Georgia State University, Fowler was the school’s first recipient of the Haskell Boyter Choral Music Scholarship in 1984. He also earned the Dr. Gene Simons Fellowship Award from the University of Georgia in 2004 and has been inducted into the Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society and the Golden Key National Honor Society.


2021-22 Outstanding Speech/Debate/Theatre Educator Awards

NFHS Speech, Debate, Theatre and Academics Association


Dean Slusser

Camden County High School Fine Arts Academy

Kingsland, Georgia

  • Served as fine arts director/assistant principal/theatre teacher at Camden County High School since 2002.


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