Jeremy is an extraordinary high school choir teacher. He sets an expectation of great learning every day and has the respect of all his students. Pitches are the least important part of his teaching philosophy; He pushes his students to feel the music and let their musicality “dance” with him, as well as calls on us to understand the theory and be able to actually read the pages ourselves. Perhaps one of the best things about Jeremy Davis is his chorus for students with special needs. An ensemble that combines student volunteers as well as any special needs student that wants to learn music. He adapts his program to fit their learning style and teaches his other students how to do it too so that when young aspiring music educators finally get their degree and have their own program, they have no excuse not to offer the same opportunity for their students as well. Above all, it’s easy to see he makes sure every single student has access to a thoughtful, choral music education.
Mr. Willitz works so hard to make his classes fun for his students. He has a way of approaching music history and appreciation that is fun and engaging even for the kids who don’t like music. He is a brilliant band and choir director and does a fantastic job with everything he does.
Mrs. Murray is the best teacher I have ever had by FAR. She is beyond talented and smart. She has taught me everything I need to know about music and life. Not only is she great at the choral aspect of her job but she never fails to be there for each and every one of us whenever we need it. She makes sure we are informed about college and the real world because she is a teacher who cares about our future. She is incredibly understanding and involved in our personal lives. She is attentive to each of us individually and recognizes our lives outside of just school. Mrs. Lindsey Murray is the most deserving person to receive teacher of the week.
I love Mrs. Bundy and I know most kids who get the chance to be taught or know her also love her. She brings kids into her classroom who aren’t even band kids and welcomes them with open arms, she gives mom hugs like no other, she is honestly one of the most inspirational people in my life. She goes 100% in with whatever spirit week or even student led activity we are doing. She is the most accepting human alive in my opinion and has no tolerance for hate in her band room. Myself as well as other students who have been burned by teachers in the past are very grateful for her. I think she goes above and beyond what a teacher means.
Mrs J is my former choir teacher, and is still teaching at Coon Rapids High School. She is honestly the best of the best. She reminds her students every day that they are loved and enough. Looking back, it meant so much to hear those words at such an important young stage in life. And she still continues to make an impact of students lives for the better simply by being amazing at her job, and letting them know they’re loved.
Mr. Maunu is such an incredible teacher. He values all of his students and makes sure to show each student their worth. Although I am no longer a part of his class, stepping foot into his classroom was the best part of the day for me, and many of my classmates. Mr. Maunu helped to build an incredible community of students that I can now call my family. The way he helped to build a connection between the music and the vulnerability in the pieces we worked with was incredible and helped to grow my passion for performing and engaging with music. It’s educators like Mr. Maunu that really change students whole world.
During class he is just so supportive of everything we do, and is great at helping us understand the topics. Every time I walk into that class I feel like I can be so open and I’m so comfortable. He is definitely one of the best teachers at our school – Skyline Highschool
He is the current director of bands in Dodge City Kansas. He began 2 years ago and has built the program at the college from the ground up. He has started two jazz bands, a pep band, a concert band and an orchestra all on his own. He works very hard to recruit and grow the program. And even tho the program isn’t very big yet he makes sure that we are playing songs that are at the collegiate level. He helps students that are in college and high school continue to enjoy music and band outside of their normal high school and middle school lives. He has a passion for what he does and for the students he teaches.
Mrs. Clausen is the kindest, most selfless, and talented teacher in the world. She inspires her students because she is inspired by them. She chooses to surround herself with students despite her knowledge extending far beyond high school because it is what she loves. Her passion for teaching is reflected in each piece she conducts with every movement of her body, emotion on her face, and message she shares. Mrs. Clausen is humble, though she has had multiple opportunities to advance past teaching including possibilities of broadway. Each student that walks through the doorway of the choir room is changed by Mrs. Clausen’s love for them. The choir room has become the safest place on campus because of her. She is someone I turn to for help or advice and the mom of every choir student. I imagine my life without Mrs. Clausen in it and I see no choir. She deserves the world and every song in it. Thank you for changing our lives.
Matthew Carl is a middle school band teacher at Henry L Sneed Middle school. He is a very inspirational and passionate teacher. He loves what he does and the kids that he teaches. He is very upbeat and positive. The working environment is so friendly and helpful. His personality is so unique and welcoming. You can easily come out of your shell and not feel any judgement in his classroom. Even if you are not a current student he will stay after school to work on etudes, scales, etc. with you until you have an understanding. He makes music fun to play and learn again. He pushes students to get out of their comfort zones and try new things. He had an 8th grade alto saxophone player join a professional city jazz band. I had him as a teacher coming out of quarantine (2021) and he made it very enjoyable and fun to play the flute all over again, even through a computer screen. He is truly a one of a kind teacher.
Tanya Hasenjager was my high school band director and track coach, and she was the inspiration and support of my career journey through to where I am now — an MS band director. Aside from being a musician role model, she also is an exemplary individual when it comes to being someone who shows love, support, and empathy to her students. I know I speak for more than my own experiences to these things, as she also served as a huge role model and guide for my athlete brother. I am forever thankful for the place she holds in my life.
Mrs. Lewis-O’Connor started her job as choral director at my high school this fall. Our previous choral director retired last year, after decades of tremendous leadership. Despite the “big shoes” to fill, in a few short months, Mrs. Lewis-O’Connor has gained a tremendous amount of respect from her students, and helped further our program significantly. Every day, she brings large amounts of positive and creative energy to her choirs. She challenges us to not only uncover the messages of each piece, but allows us time to let messages to resonate with each of us personally. This makes choir, which is already a favorite class for many kids, even more special and meaningful. She has additionally found the perfect balance between making choir productive and giving time for community building. If Mrs. Lewis-O’Connor can make this impact on our program in just 3 months, I am excited to see where she can bring our program over the next several years.
Mr. Bean is unlike any choral director I have ever met. His drive and passion for our choir is unmatched. Day and night he pushes us to be the best choir that we can be. He constantly is finding new ways to help us grow and strive. Not only is he an amazing teacher but he is also a father figure to a lot of us. He never turns down the chance to talk to each and everyone of us, making those connections inside and outside the classroom. He makes choir more than just a class. He makes it a family. He sends us inspirational messages outside of school, organizes choir lunches so even when you feel like you have no one, you still have your choir family. He is famous for his choir selfies at our performances, and he never shies away from a choir Andy’s Ice Cream run after a concert. Mr. Bean is more than just a choir teacher, he is a role model for many of us. I would not be who I am today or the musician I am today without Mr. Bean. He has changed many kids lives for the better, including me
She gave me the chance to join band during my senior year of high school and it changed my life. I was too poor to take band in middle school and was not allowed to join post-6th grade due to the rules of a previous band director (you had to take band in 6th to continue). She ignored this and let me join. She was patient with me during my senior marching season (my first season) as I navigated band with a disabled body. She was encouraging and caring. Because of her, I’m now a member of my university concert band and have found a lifelong passion!
I can confidently say that Ms. Jolly is one of, if not the most influential teachers I have ever had the fortune of working with. Formerly co-director of all of the different district schools’ bands, she’s now the director of all of our choir programs, ON TOP OF having two kids and a family to take care of at home. I truly don’t know how she can find the time and mental space to take care of both her children at home, as well as her basically-children (*cough* the basses *cough*) at school.
Besides her career accomplishments in expertly leading different programs and excellent multitasking abilities, for realzies she’s just a kind and caring person. She goes out of her way to make you feel cared for and wanted, and while she may not run any city/state wide choirs, or be in charge of massive events, I truly cannot think of a single person who epitomizes the ideals of music and its teaching more than Amanda Jolly, nor anyone who could deserve this honor more than her. Love you Jolly :)
Mr. E is an incredible educator who has made such a difference in so many lives. He is there for his students not only as a choir director, but as a mentor. He has cultivated an incredible choral program for many years, and generally is one of the most kind and impressive people.
Mr. E has grown me and my fellow students in so many different ways over the past six years we have been learning from him. He not only is our choir director, but he is our at-school dad. He commands respect, but we all know he loves us very much and because of that we can be a very successful choir yet still have fun doing what we love! Last year I was getting bullied by some other students and I went to him for help. He gave me some good advice on how to deal with the situations and did everything he could on his end to protect me. Even to this day he calls me aside every once in a while to make sure I am okay and remind me that if something else ever happens he is still a safe place to go. Mr E. has formed us into an advance choir, but he also is another version of our fathers! (The picture is from our musical, White Christmas, this year so don’t mind the dress!)
He is a fantastic teacher, and is so encouraging. Students always have fun in his class, but we get work done too. We learn so much from him and he deserves to be recognized.
Mrs. Hanzlik has always put the well being of her students above everything she does. She treats her students like her children and always tries to find opportunities for them.
My high school director from Plum senior high school was the only one who pushed me to pursue music. He helped me grow more confident, get better at sight reading and always push us to be better for the future. I’m currently in two ensembles (one that travels and a church choir ), and I can only thank John Deluce for always believing. A student that has him is truly blessed.
Scott currently works at Northeast highschool where I previously attended. Before Dr Tripp, the choral program had gone through 2 “permanent” educators and 2 temporary over the course of three years. But when Dr Tripp arrived, he was a little hesitant towards the high schoolers given he came from a collegiate background but we couldn’t have been more stoked to have someone stay with us and support us and help us grow. He has turned the barren choral room into a source of life. He is genuinely amazing.
Mr Aguglia is always goofing around and making band fun. We play amazing pieces and learn so much while enjoying ourselves. His room is always open if you have a study hall or if you wanna learn a completely new instrument.