Rachel J. Maxwell attended Illinois State University and graduated in 1993 (Summa Cum Laude) with a Bachelor`s Degree in Music Education. She received a Master of Music Education degree from the University of Illinois in 1997. In 2003 she completed a Master of Educational Leadership degree from Aurora University. Mrs. Maxwell has also completed additional coursework in team-building, leadership and working with diverse students. Mrs. Maxwell has taught band in the West Aurora School District (1993-95) and in the Oswego School District (1995-present).
Mrs. Maxwell currently serves as the Director of Bands and webmaster at Traughber Junior High School and as the Junior High Performing Arts and Band Coordinator for the district. She has taught music education courses at VanderCook College of Music in Chicago and North Central College in Naperville, IL and has been invited to be a guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator at a number of music camps and festivals including The NC All-State Middle School Band, ISYM, Il State Univ. Junior High Camp and several IMEA District Level Festivals. She is also a part of the team from Oswego who commissioned and premiered Sheltering Sky (2012) by John Mackey , Sol ye Sombra (2014) by Donald Grantham and Atmosphere (2016) by Scott McAllister.
Under her direction the bands at Traughber JHS have received national acclaim and have performed at The Midwest Clinic (as a clinic presentation and rehearsal lab group), the Illinois Music Educators Association All State Conference (1999, 2008, 2010, 2014), the University of Illinois Super-state Festival and at the ASBDA 2004 National Convention. The Jazz Bands have performed at the North Shore Jazz Festival, Music in the Parks, Jazz in the Burbs, IGSMA Band Contest, Oswego Jazz Nite, Oswego Junior High Band Festival and Hackney`s.
Rachel Maxwell is a member of the The National Association of Music Education, Illinois Music Educators Association, American School Band Directors Association, National Council of Supervisors of Music Education, and a number of honor societies. She is the recipient of the Who`s Who Among American Teachers Award, Who`s Who Among Emerging Leaders Award, Who`s Who In American Education Award, Who`s Who Among American Women Award, ASBDA/UMI Outstanding Young Band Director Award-Junior High Division for the North Central Region of the United States, Chicagoland Outstanding Music Educator, National Band Association Citation of Excellence, and the National Recipient of the Jim Ott (Drum Corps International) Scholarship. She also serves on the advisory team for the dynamic professional learning Facebook site Band Directors Group; A World-Wide Professional Learning Community.