Eau Claire Public Schools
What Does Your Company/Organization Do?
K-12 Public School system in Eau Claire, Michigan. ECPS is focused on providing a well-rounded education in a multicultural setting that fosters respect and equality for all in pursuit of becoming life-long learners.
In my five years with Eau Claire Public Schools, I’ve served as the Director of Bands while also sitting on our school’s Building Leadership Team and Professional Learning Advisory Council that helps direct the educational goals of the district.
As Director of Bands, I’ve built the program up from 15 students in the High School Band and 12 students in our Middle School Band to almost 40 in both bands in just under five years. I’ve written for, and received, almost $70,000 in grant money (including in-kind grants) to help rebuild our schools aging instrument inventory and remove barriers to students accessing a musical education. I took the marching band to their first competitions and festivals which they had not done in over 40 years. This most recent season was our best one yet bringing home awards of excellence for our music, marching, and color guard. Most recently we’ve joined The Michigan Competing Bands Association in hopes of pushing our marching band to the next level. The concert bands under my direction have steadily improved and are now consistently receiving excellent ratings at MSBOA (Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association) Concert Band Festival.
I’ve presented at our state conference, The Michigan Music Conference, and have the privilege to serve as the Treasurer for our MSBOA District that encompasses Berrien, Cass, and portions of Van Buren County.
I’ve been recognized as an outstanding teacher with ECPS several times during the 2019-2020 school year and recognized as a teacher who goes above and beyond several times during the 2021-2022 school year by our school administration.
What else do you hope to accomplish by the age of 40?
I would like to have our marching band compete in the Michigan Competing Bands Association State Championship. I’d like to continue to build the music program at Eau Claire so that more students can benefit from a musical education. I want to have the Eau Claire High School Band audition and perform at our state music education conference. I want to take Eau Claire Bands on a tour of New York City. And I’d like to help the school and community open a performing arts center.
I am a 2012 Graduate of DeKalb High School in Waterloo, Indiana and I received my Bachelor of Music in Education, Instrumental Emphasis in 2017 from Western Michigan University.
Paw Paw, MI
Where were you born?
What was your first job?
My first job ever was when I was 14, I worked food service and games at a local amusement park near where I grew up. My first job in music was with Kalamazoo Kids in Tune as Youth Development Worker.
Best advice you ever got?
Never settle for less than the best but understand that the best may change from day to day so be patient and understanding with everyone.
Who inspires you most?
That one thing about you we’d be most surprised to learn.
That I have an identical twin brother and that I love to cook, I find it relaxing.
What do you love to do in your downtime?
I love spending time with family and friends, it doesn’t matter what we’re doing I find that time to always be very relaxing.
What book are you reading now?
The Art of Successful Teaching, a Blend of Context and Content by Tim Lautzenheiser. also Dare to Lead by Brene Brown
Volunteer activity you love the most.
Anything to do with my school. I love helping the school and the community improve.
What motivates you to give back to your community?
I really enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that what I’m doing is helping to improve the community and benefiting so many people.
What Superpower would you most love to have? (for example, the ability to fly or to be invisible, or incredible strength, etc)
I’d love to be able to slow down time so that I can enjoy special moments longer (and also get more work done in the day)
What would you like to leave behind as your legacy once you are gone?
I want to be remembered as someone who improved the lives of his students. Someone who no matter how bad of a day a student was having the minute they walk into my class this instant relief and happiness washes over them and they can feel as though the world is a good place.
What does the honor of being named to the 40 Under 40 most mean to you?
Being named 40 under 40 is a huge honor, it’s a recognition of the work that I’ve done in my community. But, it also provides me with a challenge to continue and improve on this work ensuring that this recognition doesn’t go to waste.