Nominated by Secondary Principal Tim Carr, the September Teacher of the Month comes with well-deserved recognition. For 38 years, Royce Schweitzer has been dedicated to teaching at Henderson/Heartland. Schweitzer came to Henderson after teaching at Bruning. He recalls attending church services in the community shortly after moving where he was amazed at the musical talent that was present and became very excited about the musical abilities of his future students.
It was his own instrumental teacher in high school who sparked his interest in becoming a teacher. Schweitzer attended Hesston College and then went on to attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. At UNL, he had the opportunity to play in ensembles and also in the Cornhusker Marching Band during two Husker Football National Championship years.
In his typical fashion, Mr. Schweitzer is quick to point his success back to the communities of Henderson and Bradshaw because of their support. While the support is most definitely helpful, he goes above and beyond to ensure the success of his students. For the marching band, he can be found on the streets after hours measuring and taping lines and also going to competition sites to video the streets. “I do that so when it comes to performance, there are no surprises,” commented Schweitzer. He also laughed as he recalled stories of policemen stopping to question him or cars honking at him in confusion of what he was doing as he prepared for competition on unfamiliar streets.
“My favorite part about teaching is when I put an instrument in the hand of a fifth grader and then get to watch them walk across the graduation stage and be able to see how much they have grown as an individual and a musician,” remarked Schweitzer.
Outside of school, Schweitzer enjoys producing art by both painting and drawing but says he unfortunately doesn’t do it as often as he would like. He also enjoys classic cars and has had the opportunity to work on some with his sons.
Tomorrow the reigning championship band of the Harvest of Harmony Parade will take to the streets under the direction of Mr. Schweitzer. He shared, “I still get nervous, but the students are extremely well prepared.” When asked if there was added pressure this year after last year’s success, he said yes, but that he instead measures success by the band’s progress throughout the marching season. Heartland will be #133 out of 214 entries in the parade. There will be 79 bands in the competition.
Congratulations to Mr. Schweitzer and good luck to the Heartland Marching Band tomorrow!
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