When WREX reporter Hannah Welker received 17 letters nominating Forreston High School’s band director, Chip Braker, as Teach of the Week, she was impressed. “That’s the most people we’ve ever had, “she said.
On Wednesday, April 16, she and FHS principal, Michael Mandzen surprised Braker during his high school band practice, where Mandzen congratulated Braker and presented him with the “Teacher of the Week” plaque. Welker filmed the presentation, which appeared on Channel 13 and was also on the website.
Braker is finishing his thirtieth and final year as the instrumental music instructor in the district, where he teaches students in grades six through twelve. Over the years he has taught hundreds of students, some who have gone into music careers of their own, from professional performing to music therapy. What is most important to him, though, are the former students who love music because of their school experiences. He said having children of former students is also a special part of his job.
Once he is retired Mr. Braker feels he will have plenty to keep him busy, including grandchildren, his own family an some volunteering at the school. He credits his wife, Joan, with being his inspiration and partner in the last 30 years doing a job he loves.
Open House to
The Forreston Music Patrons will be hosting an open house to celebrate the career of a cherished and respected band director, Chip Braker. His last performance with the Forreston High School concert band will be the spring concert on May 9th, at 7:00pm in the Jr. High School gym. Please stay and join us immediately following the performance for refreshments, tears, and laughs as we say good-bye and thank you to Mr. Braker.