R. Scott Harnish Mr. Classic Universe 2023-2024
After graduating in 1988 from Central Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education, R. Scott Harnish came to Arizona State University pursuing a master’s in music Theatre Vocal Performance. Upon receiving his degree in 1991, he spent the next few years touring and performing around the United States, including locally in Arizona, in a variety of music theatre productions. One of his favorite musicals is West Side Story. While performing as Jano, a member of the Sharks, he was injured. Seeing the tour through to the end, Scott returned to Arizona to convalesce and interview for a teaching position his friend had recommended him for, and the rest is history. He is beginning his 35th year of teaching and his 30th year in the Kyrene School District.
Teaching music is one of Scott’s many passions. He loves to educate the heart, mind, and the soul. Realizing that music isn’t taught in a vacuum, he relates all subject areas to his music teaching, allowing students to see that the value in learning music is far reaching and important. Scott also wants to pass on the discipline it takes to be a performer. For the past 15 years, Scott has directed and choreographed drama productions with his fourth and fifth grade students. Shows have included Annie, Bye Bye Birdie, Grease, Cinderella, Wizard of OZ and Enchanted. He has continued his Doctoral studies at University of Oklahoma and Northern Arizona University, and for the past 10 years has been an active member and building representative in the Kyrene Educators Association, the local teacher union.
Scott has taken advantage of a number of exciting philanthropic opportunities since beginning his teaching career. He took time to chair the main fundraisers for Equality Arizona (EQAZ) for a number of years while also serving as board member and board chair. He has chaired, served as board member and Summer Intern for the International Alliance for the Prevention of AIDS (IAPA), and has served as chair for Building Bridges, a curriculum for children that builds social and emotional skills and exposes them to a live concert experience. Scott also embarked internationally to teach HIV AIDS education, Human Growth and Development and Hygiene in Chennai, India during his summer break for two years.
In 2020 Scott was the Arizona Educator Association's I touch, I teach, Christa McAuliffe Award recipient and national finalist for the National Educators Association award of the same name.
In terms of pageantry, Scott has well over 30 years of pageant experience. He has been a title holder, coach, host, director, and judge. Working with several systems, including America, USA/Universe, United States, Classic International and Classic Universe, he has a large base of experience to draw from. Scott is excited to be the new Mr. Classic Universe and sees great opportunity to bring attention to his platforms as well as helping the system become a viable choice for all men to be role models in their communities. All this comes very natural to him as his mother, Sally, is a former Miss Washington.
On a personal note, Scott is a father of 2, godfather to 6, grandfather of 4 and engaged to be married.