When I first moved up to Tawas, it originally was meant to just be a "first gig". Work here for a year or two and move back downstate with family, etc. What was originally planned to be a "first gig" turned into a wonderful 8 year journey filled with amazingly talented and hard working students. Yes, I had my "learning experiences" that all of us young teachers go through, but the last two years we really found our stride as a band. And I was honestly expecting to be up here for another 5 years and then possibly apply when MY director planned on retiring in 2022.
However, one of my mentor teachers called me about an opening downstate this year, it fit with what I wanted to do (and currently do), and it really made sense not only for me but for my family to take advantage of this opportunity.
Long story short, I was offered and accepted a position at a new school just outside our hometown. It was a very tough decision and one I'd been put off making and announcing at least until after awards night as I didn't want to take any attention away from the students and especially our senior class graduates.
There is no other reason that I'm leaving except that this makes the most sense for our family and our long term plans.
I will be leaving detailed plans for whoever the incoming director is to help them out, as well as I'll be meeting with the school board on June 12th to help ensure that the Washington DC Trip that we have been putting together will still have be approved with the change. The clinic that I planned for next year is also still going to happen, just at the discretion and scheduling of the new director (this is the one that Tawas won at the WMU All Star Band Conference).
Tawas is set up really well for continued success. As I was telling the students, a new director isn't a bad thing---Mr. Newman has promised to find the best candidate to make it a smooth transition (and probably a taller band director, too ;) It'll bring new ideas and concepts to the group and maybe improve on some of my weak areas.
I just announced this to the high school band today and will talk more with our middle school bands next week but I wanted everyone to be aware of what was going on.
Again, thank you for a wonderful 8 years. I've already shed many tears over this decision but my family and I are looking forward to this new phase of our life and I'm looking forward to continuing to do what I love---teaching band!