Rodney Bennett has been the director of bands at Olney High School in Olney, Texas for the past 5 years. Prior to that he taught in Munday and Palacios School Districts. He earned his BM & BME from Midwestern State and his MM from Eastern New Mexico.
Bennett as twice received the Texas Music Educators Assoc. Leader-ship and Achievement Award.He was also inducted into the Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Mu in 1996. He also continues to give back to the profession by serving as a Board Member of Phi Beta Mu Inter-national and the TMEA Regional Band Chairman.
His groups have consistently received Superior ratings in Concert Band and Sight Reading from the UIL Regional Contests.
Bennett credits having had great mentors and role models in his life time to aid him in his development. The thing that continues to drive him is his love and passion for sharing music with young people. It is through music that he hopes to mold his students into outstanding citizens for the rest of their lives.
Bennett states his philosophy this way, "I believe that band is "right" for every student. With a holistic approach to teaching, much more than just music is taught every day (history, foreign language, math, science, etc.). There is a particular joy in helping students grow into wonderful young adults knowing that their experiences in band helped make them great people."
These are things which we would hope for all of our kids as well.
George Hattendorf has served in all levels of instrumental music. He began in the middle school in Indiana and has taught high school in Georgia. He then spent time at the university level at Vandercook and New Mexico State. He then went back to Illinois and Indiana before finding his way down to Phoenix, AZ where he is now the Director of Bands/Fine Arts Chairman at Mountain Ridge High School in Glendale, Arizona.
Hattendorf was named the NFHSA - Arizona Teacher of the Year in 2012 and followed that by being named one of SBO Magazines 50 teacher "Who Make a Difference." He gives back to the industry by serving others as the ABODA's President. He is even doing it for a second time.
His groups have consistently received Superior and Superior with Distinction ratings at the Area and State Concert Festivals.
"Without a doubt the most important factor that has had a profound effect on my career was my student teaching experience with my long time mentor, Albert Castronovo. I wish I had taken the opportunity to learn more during that time but fortunately I was able to teach alongside of him for the first eight years of my career. Additionally I have had the opportunity to learn from so many other mentors and colleagues through the years. I still view every encounter with a fellow musician as an opportunity to learn."
Hattendorf says, "I believe that teaching is one of the most natural acts in the animal world. The professional teacher though is driven by a passion for their chosen subject matter and a keen sense of urgency to foster student achievement. I feel that the teaching process is ongoing and consistent. I also believe that excellence in teaching is really quite simple. Set high, yet reasonable expectations, be consistent, be passionate yet caring, and treat your students with dignity and respect, recognizing that each has their own special way of learning and excelling. Most importantly, be a positive role model for your students in and out of the classroom."