PCM School District searches for replacement music teachers

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PCM band students prepare for the last interview of the week.

Countdown to Prom

Recently in both band and choir classes it was announced that band director, Austin Heims and choir director, Tony Dam will not be returning to PCM High School music classes for the 2021-2022 school year. This was a big upset for many music students as those teachers were such a big part of the music program. 

“When he told us he was leaving I cried. He was a teacher I could talk to and had a connection with. I will miss him and wish him the best on his journey,” said sophomore Ashlyn Alleger. 

Students are still hopeful for their music programs, even with the loss of two really amazing teachers.

“It was very upsetting as I enjoyed his presence throughout the two years I’ve had him as a teacher, I do wish him the best and I think we will still continue to grow as a choir without him here, but I love him to death,” said sophomore Isabelle Lorton.

Band director Austin Heims currently plans on continuing his teaching career in Texas. 

“I love it here at PCM but I am sad to be leaving the students that I’ve grown to build strong relationships with and a principle that works well with our program and just amazing staff I get to work with, all that being said I’m excited for moving on with my fiance and moving to teach at a middle school,” said Heims. 

Choir director Tony Dam will also continue his teaching career at Waukee, where he will be an assistant choir director. 

“It’s kinda bittersweet, just in the almost two years I’ve been here the choir has gotten so much better and with the upcoming middle schoolers they will be really good! When the new people get here they have the groundwork for the next person to help them grow,” said Dam. 

As a result of their upcoming resignations, The PCM School District has started the hiring process early in hope of finding great new teachers to fill the positions. The music students are even getting an opportunity to give input to PCM High School staff taking part in hiring the new teachers. 

“I absolutely love that we get to meet them and see them before and that we get a choice in the matter,” said sophomore Jaiden Eisbrenner.

Each job candidate is tasked with coming to the PCM High School Music Department and teaching a short class. This includes leading musical warmups, and conducting the groups throughout the class period. A few minutes before the period is over the candidates leave and the students are given the opportunity to give PCM High School Principal, Kristin Souza feedback on how they felt about how the class with each candidate went. The students are asked questions about what they feel the strengths and weaknesses of each person trying for the job, along with if they could envision the candidate as their teacher for the next school year. 

“I think it is a great opportunity to express what we want for our program and it’s not just someone being brought in for us, and I think it’s pretty phenomenal for our school to do that,” said sophomore Megan Dustin.

With the early resignation of these teachers, students and staff stay hopeful for getting the best possible replacements and having a great school year!