KMEA Hall of Fame
Marie Lerner-Sexton
Inducted in 2020
Born and reared in Bardstown, Kentucky, Marie Lerner-Sexton grew up surrounded by the music of Stephen Foster, and at home, by the masters of European orchestral literature that her father loved so well. But it would be choral music that drew her to a career. After completing an A.B. in music from Washington University, St. Louis, she came to Kansas to study at KU in 1968. Her teaching career began in the fall of 1970 at Shawnee Mission South High School in Overland Park. There she taught choral music, music appreciation and music theory. In 1993, she continued the same curriculum at Olathe South High School, retiring from the classroom in 2001. That fall, she opened a private voice studio, and as of 2020 completed 50 years of teaching music in Kansas. Marie served as a KMEA district choral chairperson several times, as a board member of KCDA for many years, and as a writer and grader of the Advanced Placement Music Theory exam. She edited the KCDA state newsletter for six years. In 2003, she was awarded the KCDA Harry Robert Wilson Award. She sang with the Choral Arts Ensemble of KC, the KC Symphony Chorus, and the Robert Shaw Festival Singers. Marie married former basketball coach Paul Sexton and had two step-children, Victoria and Steve, and two grandchildren.