It is that dedication and passion that garnered him the Decades of Excellence Crystal Bell Award for 2007.
The presentation was made Tuesday morning during the first period orchestra practice with students and a host of school administrators, instructors, foundation members, friends and family entering the orchestra room, much to his surprise.
Kerri Petersen, representative for the Le Mars Community School Foundation Board, made the presentation.
"I am fortunate to be a part of an organization that recognizes the excellent teachers we have here at Le Mars Community," Petersen began. "This morning I would like to share with you some things that have been written about Mr. Hallberg."
"Ted Hallberg is a man dedicated to his passion of music. He pursues this passion through his job, his family values, his personal hobbies, and his dedication to giving all of his students the best possible education they could receive," Petersen read.
"He possesses many qualities, which distinguish him as an excellent teacher but undoubtedly the one quality that overshadows all the others is the way he bonds with his students. They don't just respect and enjoy him as teacher; the students love and admire him as a friend," she continued.
Hallberg serves as the music administrator for the entire school district, as well as serving as the orchestra director for the elementary, middle and high school levels. He has been with the district for 14 years.
"This is a tremendous feat for any one person," said Petersen.
"The saying that 'people don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care,' characterizes the essence of the teacher and person that Mr. Hallberg is," Petersen said.
Hallberg, holding a huge balloon bouquet presented by his daughter Kajsa, 8, and wife Carol, seemed speechless as applause and cheers filled the room.
"Thank you, thank you very much," he said to his students and those present. "There are others who are much more deserving of this award. Thank you so much."
"I didn't expect this at all," he said.
"Thank you especially to you students. You make it fun to be teaching," he said, then added, "sometimes. Especially when you show up on time and are in tune."
"Don't forget showing up for lessons," a fellow music instructor quipped from the back of the crowd.
"That too," Hallberg smiled.
Following Petersen's presentation, Susan Leonard and Vicki Oetken presented Hallberg with a notebook filled with letters from students. Leonard and Oetken nominated Hallberg for the award.
Carol Hallberg smiled at Ted as she noted, "It was most amazing I kept a secret."
"Obviously," he shot back. And then he looked at the students, who all smiled as he asked, "You knew too? And you kept it a secret?" in an astonished voice.
Hallberg will be honored at the 13th annual Foundation Banquet Tuesday evening, May 8, at 6:30 p.m. the lower level of Primebank. The public is invited to attend this event.
Tickets are available in the Superintendent's office by calling 546-4155.
The Decades of Excellence Crystal Bell award is co-sponsored by the LCSD Foundation and the LCS Alumni Association. The award is presented annually to honor outstanding teachers who have dedicated their careers to the education of the children in the community.