Monday, April 20, 2015

Tribute to a Mentor

So, next month my daughter Hayley will leave the 8th grade and make her way to high school. It is times like this that naturally lead us to reflect on the years that have passed and the people who have influenced our lives and the lives of our families. One such person who has influenced Hayley's life in a very positive way is her middle school band instructor Mr. Switzer. Hayley joined her middle school band in 6th grade and Mr. Switzer instantly made her feel at home. Hayley has since made band a major part of her life and she looks to continue with it in high school.

So one of the cool things that Mr. Switzer has had the kids do each year is they have gotten to go to Disneyland and perform in the park as part of the Disney Performing Arts Program. This is really a great time for the kids as they get to go on a fun trip as well as perform in one of the coolest places in the world (as far as the kids...and my wife... are concerned anyway).

So with Hayley's middle school band tenure coming to an end I thought it would be good to show our appreciation to Mr. Switzer for all of the effort and hard work that he has put into the band program. While on this last trip to Disneyland I took a ton of pictures and I thought it would be cool to put some images together for him as a remembrance of the trip. 

The one thing that has always impressed me is that Mr. Switzer always treats his middle school band like it is the London Philharmonic. The kids always have to dress professionally, and he is always the picture of professionalism. It was because of this that I thought a portrait of him as an intense (even bad ass) and focused leader would be appropriate. Of course any portrait of him would include the kids that he teaches as they are very much an imprint of him.

What I came up with you can see here.

Switzer - By Andy Knapik

What I ended up creating was not just images from this last trip (although all of these images were taken on this year's Disneyland trip), but a portrait of a man who was very influential in the lives of these kids. We presented this to him this morning and as you can see he was pleased with his gift.

Hayley and Mr. Switzer

Too often we don't recognize those who make a difference in our lives or even more importantly, the lives of our children. So, thank you Mr. Switzer for all of your hard work and dedication, it is greatly appreciated.

1 comment:

  1. Very cool and what a lovely rememberance for him. I'm sure he will appreciate this gift and the love behind the creative piece for the rest of his life. Have you thought about a smaller one for the School trophy case so that future students (past his tenure) will know him as well? Creative Blessings!