November’s KFM Teacher of the Month is Andy Empey, the band director at Galesburg High School. Andy was nominated by Chloe Day a student in his class.
As KFM’s Teacher of the Month, Andy receives the Big Red Apple Award along with a $100 gift card and other gifts courtesy of Galesburg Nissan, Tompkins State Bank, Lacky Monuments, Cooks & Company and 105.3 KFM. Here’s a little bit about Andy:
Where did you grow up? Canton
Years teaching: 15
Favorite Instrument Growing Up: Trumpet
Favorite Food: Chicken
Least Favorite Food: Liver
My Favorite Movie: Avenger Movies
My Favorite TV Show: Walking Dead
My Favorite Book: Not much of a book reader but I do read the newspaper and get news from other news outlets
My Favorite Sports Team: Chicago Bears
During My Spare Time I Like To: Fish and do just about anything outdoors
You may be surprised, but I’m really great at: Can’t think of anything
Here’s what Chloe had to say about Andy:
What sets this teacher apart from others?
First of all, Mr. Empey is amazing at what he teaches. His ways of teaching have helped myself and other musicians get better. We always take a long warm-up everyday to make sure we can play the music to the best of our abilities in class. He’s very personable and he understands what it’s like to be in high school. He listens and understands if you’re having a bad day, but at the same time he holds a high expectation for all of his students. In almost 2 years of being the new head band director at GHS, Mr. Empey has launched the Marching Band program extremely. We used to place last in our class at competitions. When Empey came, he brought his ideas to us and an amazing show to show off our talents. Last year, we placed second at U of I and it hadn’t been done in years. This year 2019, we even won our class; which hasn’t been done in years of this program. Thanks to him and our amazing staff we wouldn’t have made it this far. He pushes us to be our best everyday and knows how good we all are.
What is one thing this teacher does that is not in their job description but they do it anyway to help you or your child?
Mr. Empey does a great job of teaching music and directing but he makes friendships and loves all of his students. He goes out of his way and makes sure you are okay and asks how your day is. He includes the band and section leaders on some decisions because as a whole, this is our program. He always takes feedback from his students and other parents. Mr. Empey knows when to have fun and be lighthearted and when it’s time for business. Specifically for me, he makes time to talk to me if I need to talk. I’ve had times were I’ve had a bad day and he will listen and a lot of times he gives good advice. Not just music wise, but just life lessons. He makes the whole band feel together and like a family and he goes out of his way to include everyone and expand our program.
Give an example of a way this teacher has helped or impacted you or your child.
When Mr. Empey isn’t too busy, he will take time out of his day to help you specifically. I’m learning a new instrument and at times I can’t learn it all on my own from practicing. He’s in his office after school ready to answer any questions I have about music or maybe just some moral support. He’s affected each band kid in one way or another. I’ve had to go in his office after school to learn technique and bass clef for my new instrument, He understands that it can be hard at first and he helps you through it. At the same time, he knows the capabilities of each of his students. He knows what they can do and he believes every student can play well no matter your situation. Mr. Empey has changed my life for always listening and always believing in me when I don’t believe in myself. He is turning the GHS band program around and we’re becoming a powerhouse in the area because of his effect on all the students. I’m so thankful he saw potential in the GHS band and came to work here.
Congratulations Andy Empey, November’s KFM Teacher of the Month from Galesburg Nissan, Tompkins State Bank, Lacky Monuments, Cooks & Company and 105.3 KFM.
Listen to the presentation: