Meet Us - Graduates
What year did you graduate from Whitworth's MIT? 2011.
What and where do you teach? I teach band/instrumental music at Deer Park (Wash.) Middle School and Deer Park High School. My classes include high-school jazz band, percussion, concert band, sixth-grade band, and 7th- and 8th-grade band.
What else are you involved in at your school? I am involved in all aspects of our music program, from directing the pep band at our home football and basketball games to taking the drumline and jazz band to perform for important community events. I also assist the choir and the theater department with production needs.
Describe your greatest joy as a teacher. Seeing the culmination of my students' learning and hard work as all the concepts come together in our final performances. When they're first learning a piece of music, many students struggle with new concepts and don't understand what the final product will be like. But when they persevere and see that they can succeed at this challenge that they struggled with before, they realize how far they've come – and they get very excited when they nail the performance! I also enjoy being able to work with young people who, I know, aren't all likely to continue on as lifetime musicians. I hope to provide a positive influence that will stay with them regardless of whether they continue to play music.
How did Whitworth prepare you to meet the needs of your students and to enjoy your work? Whitworth provided so much helpful information regarding ways to differentiate my instruction and accommodate the different learning modalities that exist in my classes. Through Whitworth's multicultural Jan Term experience, I also was able to experience more cultural diversity in the classroom, and I continue to hold onto the lessons learned from my time working at a Title I elementary school in Anchorage, Alaska. Whitworth also paired me with a fantastic mentor teacher who treated me as a vital leader/member in his instrumental music program and who made sure that I was present to witness the entire scope of a school year in the life of a band director. Because of this, I was well-prepared to keep myself organized and always thinking ahead to our next performance event!