New music teacher ready to make mark
Wade Hendricks will stand up to the podium as the new music
teacher for Thurston Middle School and Laguna Beach High School this
fall. A recent graduate of the music education program from the
University of Colorado at Boulder, Hendricks, 22, is eager to meet
the challenge of delivering a fun yet relevant music program to
“I was brought up in the public school music program,” he said. “I
never took private lessons.”
He played the saxophone with his high school marching band in
Steamboat Springs, Co. and played for two years with the Colorado
University band. The music education program prepared him for the
challenge of his first year of teaching.
“One of my strengths is that I know how to play all the
instruments,” he said. “It’s important to demonstrate proper tone and
playing positions to all the students and it’s a skill often
overlooked by other music education programs.”
Hendricks will be teaching five classes including sixth-,
seventh-and eighth-grade band and sixth-to eighth-grade choir at
Thurston, as well as the high school marching band and the jazz band.
Having been in Laguna for only a week, he’s been gearing up for the
school year, leaving little time for exploring his new community. But
his focus is on his students.
“Music kids are the best,” he said. “They have the most on their
plate and they manage to get the most done. They’re very high
However, he admits that one of the hardest parts of his new job
will be following in the footsteps of Jeff Foster who held the
position for 30 years. He met Foster back in May when he sat in one
of the classes during the interview process.
“It will take a while to put my own mark,” he said. “But I want to
make sure students receive a musical experience every day in class
that will make them excited to come to class every day.
“If I get a few music majors along the way, that’ll be great.”
Recently while Hendricks was working in the high school band room,
he got to know some of the Color Guard members while they painted
their closet. They tested his recent music knowledge by playing a
song. Hendricks inadvertently dated himself by thinking they were
listening to a song by Prince. But to a mother who happened to
overhear the conversation, he proved he knew his music.
“She told me that as far as she was concerned I was ready to teach
her child music.”
-- Mary A. Castillo
MOMS help fill up backpacks for school
The Laguna Beach MOMS chapter is helping the Orange County Rescue
Mission with Project Backpack.
“The project supports underprivileged families who need two or
three jobs just to get the necessities,” said Lisa Vanderbeek,
spokesperson for the chapter. “We want to help and get the basics out
to the kids.”
Vanderbeek urges donors to choose a full-size backpack with a
nametag, notebook, notebook paper, water bottle, pencils, crayons and
markers. A personal note of encouragement is optional.
“For many of these students it’s easier to quit school and get a
job to help the family,” she explained. “Last year I wrote no matter
how difficult your classes may seem, education is the key to opening
the doors your future.”
Last year Laguna MOMS collected 50 backpacks that contributed to
the grand total of 1,700 backpacks the Rescue Mission donated to
students in the Santa Ana Unified School District. This year Laguna
MOMS will strive to bring in at least 80 to 100 backpacks to be
distributed the week of Sept. 23.
Donors can contact Vanderbeek with questions by calling (949)
280-5449 or donate a backpack to the drop box at the Laguna Beach
Library, 363 Glenneyre St.
-- Mary A. Castillo