Michelle Searle Kim
Choral Music Director
Michelle Searle Kim is the choir director at Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, MD and is in
her 27th year of teaching music. She started her career as a choir director in Charles County Public Schools in 1996. After three years, she moved to Seneca Valley HS in Montgomery County to pursue her first love of teaching, instrumental music. After a few years, Michelle realized that her real passion was teaching vocal music and she had the opportunity to take over the Seneca Valley HS Choir program in 2001 where she taught for 10 years. Mrs. Kim took over the Walt Whitman choral music program in 2019.
Mrs. Kim is originally from Johnstown, PA and was lucky enough to have had amazing music teachers to inspire her to pursue music as a career. She received her undergraduate degree in Music Education from Clarion University of PA with a focus on trumpet performance. She also holds a Masters Degree in Education and Adolescent Human Development from the University of MD, College Park.
Michelle’s choirs have been known to perform high energy, diverse music and have consistently received superior ratings at County and State Festivals as well as National Competitions and Festivals. Her choirs have also been recognized for their technique, connecting with their music
and bringing movement, energy, and emotion to their performances. Some of her choirs’ highest honors include performing at the White House in 2007, the MD State Governor’s Mansion in 2008, 2009 and 2013, a filmed TV appearance on PBS entitled “Celebrate America” in 2009, the 52nd MENC Eastern Division Biennial In-Service Conference in 2011, the MMEA In-Service Conference in 2013, and the most memorable, singing at the White House for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama in 2012. Her choirs have also performed in conjunction with the Young Artists of America and the Washington Chorus and have performed on renowned stages such as the Kennedy Center and the Music Center at Strathmore.
Michelle’s professional affiliations include being a member of NAfME (National Association for Music Education) and ACDA (American Choral Directors Association). She served as President for the Maryland Choral Educators Association from 2017-2019 and has served on various other
committees including the MD state music selection committee, Montgomery County Music Educators Collaboration Association, and represented high school music teachers on the Councils for Teaching and Learning for Montgomery County. Mrs. Km was also the recipient of the Maryland Music Educators Association “Outstanding Music Teacher of the Year” in 2014.