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New music teacher ready to make...

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

Laguna students.

“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