For six years, I have been the choir teacher at Sequoyah Middle School in Broken Arrow, OK. That journey and chapter of my life ended today.
In this place, that has been my home, I laughed, I cried, I made music, I found joy, I found anger, I found frustration, but more importantly I had the chance to have an impact on over 500 young lives that came through my Vocal Music classroom.
As much as I want to talk about the impact that I might have had on their lives, but they had an impact on mine. Telling them, I wasn't going to be returning was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. They will forever hold a place in my heart. Every student that sang in my choir got to be a part of a bigger story, one that they may not have even known they were a part of. They are forever a part of my story. My journey as an educator and as a musician.
I love the Broadway musical Hamilton, it is an obsession. My favorite song, One Last Time, President Washington has Alexander Hamilton pen his farewell address. Hamilton wanting Washington to stay begged him not to go, what words get me every time?
If I say goodbye, the nation moves on, it outlives me when I'm gone.
To the staff at Sequoyah Middle School, you are world changers. You keep loving and leading. You are exactly what those kids need. You have loved me, encouraged me, and challenged me to be better. I will never forget the lessons that you taught me.
To my beautifully talented students, you are world changers. Don't ever believe that you are less than just that! You sing, and you keep singing. The world is a mess, and it needs and craves your voices. Don't ever stop to singing. When you are happy. Sing. When you are sad. Sing. When you fall and you have no way out. Sing. We talk about this before our final concert this, you always have a reason to sing. It might be painful, it might take every ounce of emotional and spiritual energy to sing, but just sing. I tell you all the day, you have a song to sing, and the world deserves to hear that song.
This chapter is done, and I'm thankful for the ink on the page. The next chapter, Meghan Loyd, Vocal Music Director, Midwest City High School.