Category Archives: profile

Profile: Turner details day in  life of music department

by Alex Smith/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: JT Turner, music secretary, helps Jackson Martin, 12, read sheet music for band.

Music secretary Jeremy Turner, who has spent many hours helping marching band and drama students, said, “My favorite part of being the music secretary is the interactions I have with all the performing arts students.” 

Turner, who is also pursuing his bachelor’s degree in music education, talked about how he balances his work and home life in a department that hosts countless practices, concerts, and other performances. Turner said, “What home life? I go home and work, that is what I do. I wake up, I come back and I work more. It’s cool, man. I probably end up staying up a little bit later than I would most times.” 

Marching band director Chris Wing talked about his first impression of Turner. Wing said, “My first impression of JT was was that he was young and excited to teach kids.” Because of all the hours spent at practice and beyond, Wing and Turner know each other pretty well.  Wing said, “I like working with JT. Some days he drives me crazy but for the most part he does a really nice job and works hard. My least favorite part of working with JT is that he distracts me. We spend too much time together and we’re too good of friends. I get distracted from my work too easily.”

 Wing added, “My favorite thing about working with JT is that I laugh with him just about every day.” 

For his part, Turner said, “My mentor is Mr. Wing. I know it’s weird because he’s like one of my best friends and also my coworker and also my boss. I can’t think of anyone else that I could go to when I need guidance.” 

A.J. Springman, 10,  has known JT since 8th grade. Springman, who is in concert choir now but was in band previously, said, “My favorite thing about JT is his humor. His humor is unbelievable. I was in band in 8th grade and I was beat-boxing and he was joking about having me be a part of the front line just like sitting there with a mic being the drum line.”  Springman talked about what he is going to miss about JT when he switches schools next year. Springman said, “I can’t pinpoint one thing that I am going to miss about JT when I leave next year to go to my new school because JT is just an amazing person overall.” 

When the marching band won state in November at Lucas Oil Stadium, naturally almost everyone in the program was excited. Turner described the moment: “I felt really good for a number of different reasons. I don’t know if I can quite still say how cool it was, not necessarily for me, in particular, but for the program as a whole thinking about the journey we’ve been on from 2012 to now to the top of the pyramid. I think when they said second place, whoever it was, and we realized we won I felt all of that. I felt all of the times we came up just a little bit short and of all the times where things didn’t necessarily go the way we would have hoped. Of all the times that there were kids that were there that band was their safe place and they couldn’t necessarily go anywhere else. I felt all of that again. That was the cherry on top of all we’ve done so far.”  

Turner talked about what he wants the kids to get from the experience of being in performing arts. He said, “I want the kids to learn how to work with people. There are going to be people around that you don’t necessarily like. You have to learn how to work with them.”

  

 

New art teacher inspires creativity, artistic expression

by Kylie Burnett/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Miss Hannah Johnson, new art teacher, helps Ella Maciel, 11, with a tessellation project.

GC hired a new 2D art teacher for this semester, Miss Hannah Johnson. Johnson started right after winter break and has made quite an impact so far. She graduated from IU Northwest in December 2019 with a degree in art education. Johnson was excited to start her new job at GC and said, “The students and staff were very welcoming.”

 As far as art goes, when Johnson was little she always had a creative drive for it. She creates different pieces to give as gifts for friends and family. Art is a major way for people to express themselves, like a creative outlet. “The freedom of art, and how you express yourself in it,” is one of the many ways Johnson wanted to teach and help students.

One of her students, Madison Stevens, 9, said, “I do like how Johnson teaches and she is very helpful when we do our projects. I also like how flexible she is with due dates.” 

An art teacher can be an amazing example to their students, and really impact their lives. In Johnson’s life her college professor Jennifer Greenberg had inspired her. She said, “The main people in my life and personal artists inspire me to do what I love.” Being a teacher means being able to help kids, and create an education for them. 

Student Lindsey Gallagher, 9, said, “I like how she teaches, and the projects we do are cool, plus the weekly sketches are fun.” 

The way Johnson teaches has clearly been very well received, and the students seem happy. “Her style of teaching is definitely different from Mrs Cole’s, who was the previous art teacher, but I like it, too,” said Maddison Leyh, 9.

A piece of advice Johnson wants her students to learn or receive in life is simply, “Be mindful.” Being mindful can inspire a new love for learning or show you that you’re capable of creating whatever you want.

Regarding the semester, Johnson said, “I am excited for the semester, and getting ready to help students out.” Many students seem excited to have a new art teacher to show them different aspects of art, learn, and take creative chances. 

Leyh said, “I am very excited to start a new and final semester with Ms. Johnson, she is nice and very knowledgeable. She also is young, which helps to connect with kids.” 

 

Profile: Key stresses importance of current events

by Maddy Wainscott/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Bradley Key, social studies teacher and coach, finds a spare minute to work on paperwork in his classroom.

GC teacher and basketball coach Bradley Key has been teaching for over 10 years and has been coaching for many years as well. Key spends most of his time coaching with his team, especially currently since it’s basketball season, teaching his students and educating them on current events, and listening to pop-country music. He puts effort into those he cares for and puts his heart into what he loves, and what he truly loves is his job. “There are definitely some extreme highs, and extreme lows of teaching, especially freshmen… but it’s worth it. It’s good knowing my kids went home knowing something they maybe didn’t know before, and that’s the best part about it.” Key said, explaining the best and worst parts of his job. So what more should be known about Key? Who does he influence, and how? 

Duriing his entire life, he grew up raised and influenced in the presence of teachers, and sports. He’s always been into sports. “I was never the best of the best, you know? Never the best player on the team. But I was always kind of the leader of the team, always putting out ‘Go, team!’ if no one else would,” Key said. 

Teachers were always around him, even as family, he said. The life of educating people intrigued him, he said.  It made him think… “What can I do for the world? Who can I educate? Whose point of view could I change, how could I do that?”  So he put his game face on the same way he did in his sports career. He took his passion for shooting a ball and combined it with his passion for making a positive difference for young adults in the world. He was always a good student, always the one making the right decision, using his head, he said. That’s what got him to where he is now: an intelligent, educated, caring teacher, and a hard-working, team player, carefully blunt basketball coach.

Most of his students get along very well with him. He’s a fun, outgoing, opinionated man with a good sense of humor, some would say. One of his current students, Lindsey Kirby, 10, feels positively about him and his teaching. “He’s just a funny guy,” she explained, “in the beginning of class we discuss current events, funny stories, hot topics, stuff that everyone is really interested in and it gets everyone going, really. It’s his sense of humor that keeps the class alive and I think that’s his best feature.”

Kaitlyn Garner, 9, said, “He’s been a great teacher. He always goes over the most important things going on in the world and it’s a great thing that he gets everyone so involved in politics and the world.”  

Key truly wants the best for all the people in the building, especially for his students and team players, he said. “I think it’s good to talk politics into kids here, because you really never know what life is like at home. Everyone deserves to have their own point of view, so if they don’t talk about it at home, let’s talk about it in my room,” he said.

“Maybe mom and dad don’t talk about the news or stuff like that at home, or maybe mom or dad isn’t even around. It’s good seeing my students transform from completely uneducated… children, really, into informed citizens of our community, and of our country. It’s good to make everyone stronger and smarter one step at a time,” Key said, on why he discusses political views and current events with his students. 

Mann: Woman of many talents

by Tuesday Olson/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Mrs. Mann helps Bailee Logsdon with her Algebra homework. Photo By: Tuesday Olson

Mrs. Laura Mann has been a teacher for over seven years. She worked for one year at the junior high and five years at North Montgomery High School. She is currently a dedicated math teacher, coaches the girls soccer team at GC, and is also a wife and mother of two children. She still finds time to help her students and raise kids who also love to play soccer.  With so many things on her plate you have to wonder how she finds time for it all. 

Mann didn’t always know that she wanted to become a teacher. When she went to college she was getting an engineering major. In her freshman year of college she started to do coaching with her professor, and did that through her junior year.  Then, she was asked by the Central Catholic girls varsity coach to be an assistant over the summer. As she helped coach the girls during the summer she began to realize that this was something she loves to do. Mann said, “After that summer I knew that I wanted to work with kids.” So she went after her teaching degree.

Now she has been teaching for seven years and loves every day of it. She said that the best part of being a teacher was being able to build a relationship with her students. She loves to see her students inside and outside the classroom. Emma Colassaco, 9, said this about her relationship: “We don’t always talk about soccer stuff; we also talk about how we are doing and other lives.”  She even talked about one of her previous students she had babysit for her when she had her first child. She said that they still talk to this day. 

When she discussed if having kids changed her view point of students, she said no. That she sees her students as her kids even before she had kids of her own. She also stated how important they were to her and how she would do anything for them within reason. Mann said, “I feel like having kids just gave me another level to connect with them on.” 

Rebekah Pies, also 9, enjoys having that relationship and said,“She’s a really bubbly, a good person and teacher.” Mann says it also the same way with her kids, having students didn’t affect the way she saw raising her kids because her personality is the same when she’s at home and in the classroom. She said that even if her kids would walk into the classroom and they would still be like “Yeah, that’s my mom.” She also says that she wants her students to see her as a person not just their teacher.

When Mann talked about how she manages having to teach, coach, and raise her kids she had two things to say. The first is that she finds that having good time management is a must on knowing when to get what done. Then she said that it’s easy to handle all of it because she put 100% into what she’s doing at the moment she is doing it.  When she’s teaching, she is “in 100% teacher mode not 90% teacher mode and 10% coach mode.” When she’s doing something she says she wants to be 100% present in doing that thing. “I want to be present in whatever I’m doing”. Colassaco said, “As a coach she’s more strict and is always ready to make us do something out of our comfort zone.” 

As for what Mann wants her students to get out of her classroom, she wants them to know this: “It’s okay to make mistakes, to learn from the people around them, and to know that I care about them.”

 

Profile: McCall Recalls Her Teaching Journey

By Gabrielle Jordan/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Mrs. Sarah McCall helps Ashton Mattingly, 9.

As kids or adults, we have all struggled with something before, whether that be a research paper for English class or trying to figure out how to deal with a strenuous situation. Whatever it may be, we all know the feeling it brings. Even your teachers encounter the same emotions. Students have been conditioned to always assume teachers are perfect and have everything under control when in reality, they have struggled like the rest of us. 

Mrs. Sarah McCall is the math department head of Greenfield-Central. Through her eleven years of teaching, she has learned the ups and downs of this particular career through trial and error. 

At the beginning of her career, she mentioned that she battled with students to get their attention and control of the classroom. ”I’m not a Mr. Johnson, that doesn’t come out of me,” she said, meaning the powerful aura that comes from Mr. Johnson doesn’t emanate from her. He could tell kids to quiet down and pay attention and they would; they listened to him. 

McCall explained that if she were to try to yell at her students to get their attention, the students would just end up laughing at her. She later went on to reveal that in the beginning of her career, the fact that some of her students wouldn’t take her seriously would make her so frustrated and stressed out that she would go home and cry about it because she didn’t know what to do about it. 

McCall felt like at times, she wasn’t doing her job properly, when in actuality, her students thought otherwise. “She makes you feel successful. She doesn’t make me feel silly, or that I did something wrong for not understanding a question or a problem,” stated Alexis Torrez, 10, an Honors Algebra II student of  McCall. “She gives a chance for failure. Other teachers, I feel like, expect you to grasp a subject right away and assume you’re doing wrong when you fail. Mrs. McCall lets you mess up and learn from it with her afterward.” 

McCall discussed that she would like to see technology change in the education profession. “The big push with devices that so many schools are going with, I don’t know if that’s always the best. I think a lot of students feel that way too; the ones that really want to learn. The kids who want to play games all day, sure they love them. Some classes iPads can be great to use, but there should be iPads that you rent. I don’t think a student needs one all day everyday,” she explained. Students are sometimes distracted by the amount of technology at their fingertips and fail to pay attention and properly grasp the material being taught. 

Another one of her students, Ethan Bittinger, 9, commented that he could relate and understand McCall. “I feel very comfortable asking questions to her because she has a heartwarming smile that makes me know that she sincerely wants to help her students learn.”

Teachers are just like students: From McCall’s personal experience and stories, students can see that they struggle, they feel stressed out, frustrated and emotional when things seem out of their control. But yet with all the hardships of being a teacher, they still always manage to strive for the best. With every word they say, every dry erase marker used, every paper printed, every lesson planned, and every demanding hour spent grading, they manage to make a difference in students’ lives, just like McCall did with Torrez and Bittinger, among others.

 

Profile: Biology teacher encourages problem solving, application skills

by Ally Butrum/Staff Writer

Rebecca Fields, biology teacher, stated of her teaching style, “Sometimes I think my teaching style is a little chaotic, like I have an agenda, and an objective, but sometimes getting there is not very direct.” Her “chaotic” teaching is the majority of her students’ favorite thing about her class. 

Fields went to multiple different places for education to get to where she is now. She started at Purdue, followed a professor to Indiana State, went to IUPUI, and lastly finished at IU for her master’s. After her schooling she worked in a laboratory for eight years along with being a camp counselor. 

She liked the laboratory, but mentioned that it gets boring. “I worked in the laboratory for eight years; it gets lonely,” she said. When asked what made her want to start teaching she said, “I thought I could take all this fast knowledge I have in my head, and use it to interact with people, and have those moments of being goofy.” Fields also enjoyed being a camp counselor, but she stated she favors the science over the teaching. This led her to focus more on her research involving science. 

Following her time in the laboratory, Fields began teaching here at Greenfield-Central for 13 years, and has had a great impact on a majority of her students. She has created a comfortable and positive environment for students to learn in. One of her students, Ava Anderson, 10, stated, “She’s made it fun to learn and made me want to learn more about biology.” Many students have expressed that they enjoy her stories that she has told when teaching. 

People describe Fields in many different ways, but she would describe herself as “a normal, introverted person.” She is a very laid back, down to earth person. She is described as a great listener, and she is also very curious. “I listen, then want to solve problems,” she said. Her students described her as laid back and understanding.

Anderson mentioned that Fields  is a “spunky” person. Anderson stated, “She doesn’t care what anyone thinks about her. One of my favorite things about her is she told me she gets dressed in the dark, so that her outfits never make sense.”  

One aspect that many other students have said to like about her, is that she gives them their space. Another one of her students, Kearsten Stearns, 9, “She’s one of those teachers that’s not always up in your face.” Anderson added onto that by saying, “She leaves students alone, but also makes sure everyone understands the lesson and gets their work done.” To Fields, it is very important that students do their best, she said.

Fields has a goal for all of her students. She wants them to be able to have a basic knowledge of science and also be able to apply it to their lives. “I hope my students get the ability to take information, find a solution, use the solution, and then re-adjust,” she said.  Fields hopes her students can develop problem-solving skills to help them confront real life problems, rather than emotions. She said, “We’re all so emotionally-driven; you have to stop and learn to use the brain.”

Profile: Sears creates ‘relaxed environment for kids’

by Abigail Castetter/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Mrs. Sears states this painting to be her favorite. “Suffragette is an homage to quilts and the role they played in women gaining the right to vote in America,” (Lisa Sears 2017). 

 

“I love art and it’s just something I am happy to do everyday,” stated Lisa Sears, one of the art teachers at GC. Sears teaches many classes including AP Art History, AP Studio 2D Art, Painting, Drawing, and Photography. She also sponsors many clubs such as the National Art Honor Society, Sunshine Society, Fine Arts Club, and Bring Change 2 Mind. Many students gather around her and some, such as Kammi Anderson, describe her as an exciting and lively person who is always at work. Sears balances being a teacher and an artist outside of school.

Sears went to college at the Herron School of Art and Design. She has taught at other Indiana schools before GCHS. “I taught at a K-12 school which was intriguing, fun, and an easy job,” Sears said when talking about other places where she worked. She also talked about a rough elementary school where she had been the only art teacher, saying it made a difficult job.

When asked about how she balances time and inspiration to do the things she loves, like personal art, she said, “I paint every day for an hour. I find that you set aside a certain amount of time and you always try to stick to that time for whatever you’re passionate about.” Sears said from 9 to 10 p.m. you’ll almost always find her painting something. She mentioned preferring to do art with acrylic and to not waste paint. She does crafts with her scrap, dried paint. Eventually, with time, inspiration will snowball into her art.

Kammi Anderson, a freshman student who hangs out regularly in Sears classroom, talks about her often. “She’s a chill person, unlike me, and it’s always fun when we enter ranty conversations with everyone in the room. She keeps up a good conversation with someone of my pace,” Anderson stated. Many students hang out with Sears, whether it be for extra activities or just to spend time. Anderson also mentioned Sears being someone you don’t feel afraid to talk to about anything, weird or serious.

Another freshman student, Makenna Hansen, who has had her for class and often floats in and out of Sears’ room talks about Sears’ class. Hansen stated, “While she does expect her students to follow rules just like any other teacher, she’s very flexible when it comes to her students’ needs, as well as allowing them to genuinely enjoy their time in her room as it is a very relaxed environment.” She spoke more about the entertaining sarcasm Sears is never afraid to use and Sears’ relaxed attitude.

When asked about sharing artistic interest with students she stated, “kids love art and I love art so everyone’s happy.” Sears has gained respect from many students, like Anderson and Hansen, who share her classes or activities. Students gather around her for guidance and her personality. She chose to be a teacher for the students and enjoyment of sharing hers and others’ art. She has become a prominent figure in many students’ lives and students in her class state they feel welcomed, no matter their beliefs or backgrounds.

Profile: Voigt balances many roles

by Mya Wilcher/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Mrs. Carolyn Voigt helps a student with an activity on his iPad. 

Mrs. Carolyn Voigt has taken on many challenges during her teaching career so far. She is a director for the high school’s drama department and a teacher. She is learning to juggle the long hours at the school for rehearsals, teaching, going home to be with her growing family, as well as finding time for grading assignments. 

Voigt had previously attended this high school and is now working here. Taylor Shelton, 9, has a good relationship with Voigt. Shelton said,  “Having Mrs.Voigt as a teacher is like the school just handed you a new friend. She’s kind and understanding.” Shelton said that she had learned from Voigt to be more confident and that it’s alright to make mistakes. She also thinks that others could learn to break out of their shell and be themselves more from Voigt. 

Shelton said, “I love that when she teaches, she tries to make sure everyone is having fun.” The first thought that Shelton had when she first walked into Voigt’s room was that she knew she was in a comfortable and safe place. She could also tell that she was going to be happy in her class. 

One of Voigt’s fellow English teachers, Mrs. Lisa Fox, was asked what it is like working next to Voigt. She had this to say: “She has lots of kids coming to her asking lots of questions because she has a lot going on. She’s always an up, positive person and she’s always very busy.”

Fox said she has learned a few things about Voigt from working down the hall from her. She said, “Well, she takes on a challenge very positively. She came in at the beginning of the year and didn’t seem intimidated by her challenges and went straight from being a student teacher to a teacher in about a week… She knew what she could do and she didn’t let the kids sway her. So seeing that, I just really have a lot of respect for her.” Fox said from Voigt, others could learn to have confidence in what you know and to stand firm with that. 

Voigt said that her first year of teaching was crazy because she started in November of Fall 2016. She had finished her student teaching on a Tuesday and she started teaching on that following Wednesday. Voigt was asked to describe what it feels like to work with people that were once your teachers. She responded with, “It was very weird at first, and I remember being asked by Mr.Beal ‘How are you going to handle having people who were once your teachers be your coworkers?’ And I said ‘Well I understand that I have to gain their respect and I just have to do my work to the best of my ability and eventually they as their peer versus somebody that they had in class.”

Voigt said that her first year of teaching was good and when she came in, they were at a rough spot financially in the sense that they really needed some “Home runners” to be in a good spot for the next year.

Voigt had an important memorable moment during her first year of directing.  “During the Sunday show of Once Upon a Mattress, I was in the booth and the students had all of a sudden turned off the lights and turned off the music and I was freaking out because they hadn’t given their announcements yet. One of the main actors asked me to come up on stage and they handed me flowers and thanked me for everything that year and I just started crying, of course. But it was just so sweet for them to do that at all. It was just this really an awesome moment that throughout all the stress and all the tears that may have happened that first era of teaching, it all was worth it in that one moment.” 

The many challenges that Voigt took on led to where she is now. She didn’t give up through the hard times and she stayed persistent. She strives to make time for her home life along with everything else she juggles during her school life. 

Profile: Students enjoy ‘open and honest’ teaching

By Abby Morgan

photo caption: Kaitlyn Gardner, 9, studies while Ms. Erin Grimes, Dylan Moles, 9, and Nicole Civitarese  pose for a quick picture.

“I’ve always wanted to be a teacher,” said Miss Erin Grimes.

Grimes has been teaching Spanish I and II for a few years at the high school now. Before she was a teacher, she student taught for Mrs. Paula Perry, the head of the Spanish department. Ms. Sonja Jaggers, another Spanish teacher, said, “It’s nice to have a young teacher beside me. We throw ideas off of each other sometimes and it helps the both of us with lessons to teach our classes. She also helps me out with technology a lot when I need it, which is nice too.”

When she was little, Grimes would often play outside with her friends. When she got a little older, she picked up the skill to play piano and started to take lessons, she said. She also has an older brother; he is three and a half years older.  Grimes thinks her parents influenced her and made her a better person, having them always tell her what to do so she wasn’t ever lost. Growing up, Grimes always wanted to be a teacher. It was either math or Spanish, she said, but as time went on math got very difficult. Once she decided on that, Grimes started to actually study and pay attention in class. She thinks she did well, or at least she hopes so, she said.

One of Grimes’s favorite things to do is bond with her students. There is nothing better than getting to know them, it makes it easier to have a class with them, and also makes it easier to teach them, she said. She is proud of all of them, no matter how rambunctious they may be. Addie Coombs, 9, said “I like Miss Grimes because she’s closer to our generation rather than someone older because she understands how our brains work and sympathize with us a bit more rather than an older teacher. She’s a great Spanish teacher, she doesn’t get in student’s faces about learning quickly or pronouncing words correctly all the time. She lets us learn at our own pace and kindly guides us through the mistakes we might make.”

Grimes thinks all of the schooling was worth it; she gets to do what she loves almost every day and make lots of friends out of it as well. Jaggers said, “Grimes is very young, open, and honest. I’ve learned a lot from her just from the few years she has been teaching at the school.” Many students often go to Grimes’s room on their lunches, EB’s and in between passing periods often times to just say hello. She is almost like another student in a way, just by the way other kids talk and laugh with her. 

Grimes’s teaching career is still fresh, and she hopes there are many more years. She loves meeting new students and helping them learn another language, she said. Coombs said, “She is really good at making sure you get your work done or that we make sure we understand the material that she would give us. Grimes would make sure to check in every once in a while to show that we are okay and not too stressed out, as a good teacher should.”

Profile: Grizzard details day in life of choir director

by Alex Smith/Staff Writer

Photo Caption: Mr. Paul Grizzard directs Concert Choir during G2.

Choir director Paul Grizzard’s favorite dad joke is a new one. He hasn’t told it on stage yet: “A local man is addicted to drinking brake fluid. He says he can stop any time,” said Grizzard, who is known for dad jokes.

Isaac Kottlowski, 12, who is in the madrigal choir, said, “My favorite dad joke that Mr. Grizzard has told is ‘What do you call a fish with no eyes? A fsh!’”

Grizzard has been teaching at GC for four years. Prior to coming to Greenfield, he taught high school for ten years in Rushville. He has an identical twin brother named Mark, who lives in Illinois. Grizzard and Mark didn’t find out that they were identical twins until they were both 30 years old.

Grizzard started being a choir director when he was in high school. He really likes music and feels like that’s where his talent is. But when Grizzard was in college, he didn’t go into education. He got a Bachelor’s degree in music and math at Augustana College at Rock Island, IL. After college he went back to school at Ball State and got his teaching certificate. Grizzard taught in Boston, Massachusetts for a few years while he was getting licensed and he then taught at Rushville for ten years before coming here.

Grizzard said his favorite part of being a choir director is that he likes seeing kids who come their freshman year and graduate their senior year just to see how they grow up both as singers and as young adults.  He loves seeing the progress from start to finish.

Kottlowski said he admires Grizzard for several reasons. “My favorite thing about Mr. Grizzard is how he directs others to be able to be successful because what he’s been doing is he’s making me a leader to be able to make others leaders,” said Kottlowski.

Kottlowski continued, “I am going to miss the atmosphere because every choir is different. Even if I went to college for the Purdue Glee Club it’s going to be different because there won’t be anybody directing you by yourself.”

Accompanist David Hanson, who has worked with Grizzard for four years, said, “My favorite thing about Mr. Grizzard is that he is a perfectionist and he wants to get the best from his singers. We are both compatible and perfectionists and we both want to have the best musical productions ever.”

Hanson said, “My first impression of Mr. Grizzard was at an audition so it was kind of frightening but he put me at ease and told me what I needed to do.”

Grizzard said that he gets along pretty well with his students.“My most embarrassing moment as a teacher is that I remember being on stage announcing a song and I said ‘Okay their next song is…’ and I had a senior moment and I turned around and the kids told me what song we were singing next,” he said.

Grizzard said that his least favorite part of being a choir director is that motivation is tough. It’s hard to get kids excited to be doing things and riding the line between having a strict class and having fun. It’s always a tough balance, he said.

Kottlowski said, “My favorite part of being in choir is being able to sing with my peers and to have a fun time and to be engaged within the music. My least favorite part of being in choir is that sometimes when something goes wrong during a concert you have to adapt and overcome the circumstances of what may happen.”

Outside of teaching, Grizzard likes to go running, he likes to go to concerts with his wife, he likes taking his kids to places like the museum and the zoo, and he likes to work in his garage building little projects. Grizzard talked about how he balanced his work and home life. He said it was difficult these days because he has a five year and a two year old at home, that they require a lot of attention, and that it takes scheduling, and setting time aside for both work and family.

While Grizzard helps to inspire others, he also discussed people who have influenced him. Grizzard said, “My mentor is my mom because she inspired me to get into music and she is a strong woman. My father just passed away. Even though he is gone, she still mentors my family whenever we come to her.”

Speaking of family, choir is often like family for the students. Kottlowski said that his least favorite dad joke that Mr. Grizzard has told is when someone complains, he says, ‘Hi! I’m dad.’