Jennifer Antonetti Earns a Spot on Yamaha’s “40 Under 40” List

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Jennifer Antonetti was recognized as one of Yamaha’s “40 Under 40” for music educators. Submitted by J. Antonetti

Jayme Thompson, Staff Writer

 

Band director Jennifer Antonetti won a spot on Yamaha’s “40 under 40” list for music educators. Those that are selected are chosen from across the country for making a difference by growing and strengthening the music programs at their schools. Antonetti was recognized for her efforts in doubling the band size at Robinson Middle School and creating an app to help with managing band equipment. She teaches at Topeka High School, Robinson Middle School, and Meadows Elementary School.
BatonSync is an app created by Antonetti and her husband Kris, who is a software developer. This app spans over 15 states and allows her students, and other educators, to keep track of their instruments, uniforms, and inventory. The app can also store student information, and keep track of the financial side.
According to their website, they initially came up with the idea when they were doing summer inventory. They didn’t have laptops so they had to write everything down by hand. Once they had finished inventory, they put it all on an excel file that accidentally got erased. It was important that this didn’t happen again so they started a cloud-based application for future inventories. Then after telling a few people, they realized that a lot of other educators would find this useful so they decided to make it public. She said, “I was honestly so humbled and honored to be chosen among the best music educators in the country. It was truly a breathtaking feeling to be recognized in this way.”
After teaching for 13 years, Antonetti has seen her bands nearly double in size. At Meadows Elementary School, there are currently 400 students overall, and 90 of them play an instrument. In addition, she is also starting a Kansas chapter of Women’s Band Director International, which will fall under the Kansas Bandmasters Association.
Originally, Antonetti was interested in mechanical engineering and later considered being a history teacher, and a paleontologist. Eventually, she got into music therapy which she studied for a year at Kansas University. After that year, she switched to music education.
When asked about how she got into music she said, “I had a really great band teacher in high school and a few family members who really encouraged me.”
Antonetti said she loves teaching because “I love watching the growth process of students from boys and girls to young men and women with their own thoughts and ideas.”