By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News
Jeremy Spicer resigned as director of bands at Vandegrift High School, which he took to its highest level last fall when the band was named the 2013 University Interscholastic League 4A State Marching Band Champion.
In the interim, current assistant band director, Mike Howard, will assume all head director responsibilities, according to Charlie Little, VHS principal, who sent out an email to Viper parents on Monday.
“The process to find the highest quality replacement for Mr. Spicer will begin immediately,” Little said.
Since VHS opened in August 2010, Spicer has the led the largest organization on campus, which had more than 225 members last school year,
He has resigned for several reasons including to attend graduate school.
“I am planning to attend graduate school to pursue a Masters and eventually a Doctor of Musical Arts in Wind Conducting so that I may eventually reach a lifelong dream of teaching at the collegiate level,” Spicer said.
He also will continue to grow his student leadership training business called Solutions and Specialized Innovations or SASI.
“I will have the opportunity to grow SASI and positively impact the lives of students through leadership development and empowerment,” Spicer said.
Last year SASI delivered seminars at four universities and 28 high schools. The curriculum reached over 2,000 students last year. The company also offers athletic and staff leadership programs, among others.
Ultimately Spicer’s decision to move on was to spend more time with his family.
“The single greatest gift any human can give another is their time. This is the first priority to my family,” said Spicer. He and his wife have a young daughter and a young son.
Spicer attributes the Viper band’s success to the entire culture established within the organization, and that will continue to grow under the leadership of Howard, Paul Pape, percussion director, and Stephanie Grote, assistant band director.
“Please accept my sincere thank you for impacting my life for the better. You have helped to shape the person I am today and for this I am forever grateful,” Spicer said in a message to Viper band members.
Little asked the band to work together through this transition.
“Needless to say, there is a lot of work to be done and the initial band rehearsals are just around the corner. I know that I can count on the entire Viper band family to rally around Mr. Howard, Mr. Pape, and Mrs. Grote to support them as they work together to make this the best year possible for our students.”