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FHS band’s Rogers finale lamento

Farragut High School has lost one of the good guys.

Ron Rogers, band director of FHS’s Marching Admirals for 22 years, has decided to leave Knox County Schools altogether and has taken the band director position at William Blount High School in Maryville.

Rogers said that although the decision to leave FHS was a difficult one to make, he feels good about his choice.

“My time at Farragut was very special and leaving was very difficult. When I turned in my resignation it became one of the most emotional times of my life,” he said.

Rogers credits FHS students and the support of their parents for much of the band’s success during his time there.

“The parents and students of the Farragut High School Band are some of the most wonderful people that you have ever met in your life. I could have asked them to go move a wall, and if they thought that it would make the band a little bit better, they would go try to move that wall for me,” he said.

“It is very rare that you have a situation where you have that kind of support group that is 100 percent supportive of what you do,” he added.

The parents and students feel the same of Rogers.

Rising FHS junior and one of this coming year’s drum majors, Kelsey Griffiths, said she will miss Roger’s support of his students as much as his instruction.

“Mr. Rogers has been one of my biggest role models. He made us push ourselves and that was one of the reasons we enjoyed band, because he made us good,” she said.

Although Kelsey only had two years with Rogers, she said she is thankful for that time.

“It is just incredible to see the difference in myself, having a teacher who cares so much about what we are doing. I am sad to see him go, but I am glad to have had the experience with Mr. Rogers that I did,” she added.

Kelsey’s mother, Robin Griffiths, feels as though FHS is losing a valuable asset.

“He is such a gifted musician with passion for teaching music and for watching the kids develop their musical skills and their musical talents and being able to apply everything they learn not just to music, but to life as it presents challenges. He is a mentor for those kids, he pushes them to do their best and they grow to respect him for that gift,” she said.

“There is always going to be a void in our hearts for Ron Rogers, He is just a spectacular person. He is beyond a teacher; he is a friend to my kids and to my husband and me,” she added.

FHS is not only losing a talented musician, a dedicated band director and a respected mentor, it also is losing the president of Tennessee Music Education Association, an elected position that Rogers has held for the last two years.

“I am president of the association that represents every music teacher all the way from kindergarten through college in the state of Tennessee,” Rogers said.

As for his reasons for leaving FHS, it comes down to his love of teaching band.

“All I ever wanted to do was teach band,” Rogers said.

“Unfortunately, for the last few years I was only teaching band one period per day.

“I don’t think the times are conducive to teaching fine arts right now in Knox County. I think Knox County has set its sights on other things, and unfortunately fine arts, whether it is band, chorus, orchestra, visual arts or drama, all the way from high school down to elementary school, I think, are put way back on the back burner,” he added.

The FHS band program will now be under the direction of former Hardin Valley Academy Band director, Keith Clupper.

“We are kind of apprehensive about the change; change is always hard, but we are looking forward to what the future can bring,” Robin Griffiths said.


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