Band Director Earns Teacher of the Year Honor

Isabella Carlin, Reporter

Each Friday night football game in the fall, the marching band is tasked with preparing an entertaining show that will mesmerize the audience. Hours of dedication, planning, and long hours go into each performance. However, head director, Mr. Jeffrey Gorring is always there to lead the way and create an unforgettable experience for his students. 

Mr. Gorring was named Teacher of the Year for the 2020-2021 school year. He was nominated and chosen by his fellow coworkers as a standout teacher who embodies the College Park motto of commitment, pride, honor, and success on a daily basis. 

I was unbelievably honored to receive this award this year. This award would mean so much on any other year but it means a little more this year, during all of the craziness that is and was the 2020/21 school year,” Mr. Gorring said. “ In a school full of wonderful teachers that I respect and admire, it means a great deal to be chosen by my friends and colleagues here at CP.” 

Mr. Gorring began his career at College Park back in 2007 and has been lead director since 2017. However, music has been in his life for many years prior. Mr. Gorring graduated with an undergraduate degree in Music Education from Eastern Michigan University and a masters degree with a concentration in Instrumental Conducting from Sam Houston State. His musical background has allowed him to form a special connection with his students and relate to their band journeys. 

“As a musician, I love being able to share an experience with students that is nonverbal but connects and speaks with everyone,” Mr. Gorring said. “As a teacher, I am excited that I get to reach as many students as I do. I am happy that we have a program that promotes positivity and allows our students to make goofy teenage mistakes in an environment that is safe and welcoming.” 

Throughout their busy summer and spring schedules, band members are continually preparing for upcoming contests, football games, or concerts. Mr. Gorring is tasked with overseeing each of these events to make sure they run smoothly and his 300+ students have the best opportunity to showcase their talents. Despite his hectic schedule, Mr. Gorring works to assure each of his students are taken care of. 

“Every student deserves a smile, hug, handshake, or just ‘how was your day?’ Those little acts of kindness go a long way,” Mr. Gorring said. “Students will always remember the way you made them feel and they don’t care what you know unless they know you care.” 

Mr. Gorring was selected for this prestigious award because his coworkers noticed how he was making a difference with his students and the greater school community. He will be recognized in a ceremony later this year. 

“Aside from any awards or accolades, I feel my biggest accomplishment as a teacher is finally realizing that it is our responsibility, as educators, to always take care of the student,” Mr. Gorring said.