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  • Last modified 122 days ago (Jan. 24, 2019)

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Marion hires music instructors

Staff writer

For the second time since August, Marion high school has a new vocal instructor, this time from closer to home.

Ruth Springer graduated from Tabor in December with a vocal music degree, and that proximity is already proving an asset.

“I didn’t spend a whole lot of time in Marion when I was at Tabor, but I was familiar with the area,” she said. “That made the transition easier.”

The plan was originally to hire a long-term sub for the rest of the school year, but Springer made a positive impression on the administration, said Travis Rogers, principal of Marion High School.

“You could tell right away her passion for music and her passion for being around students,” he said. “Fortunately, she was able to come and see our kids in action. She could get a good feel for us, which I thought was very important.”

The sudden need for a new director arose in November when the previous one resigned due to personal reasons.

“It’s not a normal thing when a teacher decides to part ways with the school district in November,” Rogers said.

One difficulty with arriving midway through the school year is being behind in preparations for competition season, Springer said.

“Having come in midyear, I didn’t really know a lot of the background of the students or where they were as far as vocal development,” she said. “That was a big challenge, and just getting to know each other’s expectations.”

Using the time they do have, Springer’s focus for high school students is mainly classical work.

For middle schoolers, the focus is getting used to reading music.

“If they can read it, then it goes a lot faster,” Springer said. “We have a lot more fun in the classroom because we’re able to get through more material and spend less time drilling notes.”

Once she gets her students through the early stages, Springer plans to start integrating other genres into lesson plans.

“A lot of them think they know what they like and that’s their music,” she said. “Which is great, but that might change. My goal as an educator is to give them a good, solid foundation with that classical repertoire, but then we can start exploring other genres.”

The band position has also found a new director from within Marion County.

Longtime Marion and Goessel director Mike Connell will fill the long-tem sub position through June, but Steven Glover will take over in the fall.

Glover is coming to Marion after 17 years at Peabody-Burns, as well as time at Canton-Galva. Finding an instrumental instructor with name-recognition was a major plus, Marion superintendant Aaron Homburg said.

“Mr. Glover comes to us with a wealth of experience,” he said. “He’s very well known for having outstanding bands, very good marching bands, and we were excited to get him on board.”

Connell left retirement and began subbing in October when the previous director left. Having someone with experience willing to fill the position was a big help, Homburg said.

“Mr. Connell has done a wonderful job for us, subbing basically all year,” he said.

Last modified Jan. 24, 2019

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