Music, Education Grad Lands Band Director Job
As legislators continue to slash public school funding across the state and nation, teachers face an increasingly uncertain and competitive job market. University of St. Thomas Class of 2011 graduate Kendall LeJeune, who earned a bachelor’s degree in music education, was excited to find a job as a band director almost immediately after graduation.
LeJeune credits his success to the teaching experience and professional connections he gained while studying at St. Thomas. In the fall LeJeune will serve as associate band director at First Colony Middle School in Sugar Land. He got a head start in May when he stepped in for the current associate director who was out on maternity leave.
“The immediate future for teaching positions, let alone teaching positions in the arts, looks pretty bleak,” LeJeune said. “My education at St. Thomas went far beyond pedagogy; St. Thomas groomed me with the knowledge and experience that made me extremely marketable. Not only did I find a job before the end of the school year, I was able to find a position at a flagship music program that is recognized throughout the region.”
After earning a bachelor’s degree in public relations at the University of Southern Mississippi, LeJeune knew he wanted to finish his music degree in Texas. With the goal of interning at the fiercely competitive schools in North Texas, LeJeune sought a university that would allow him the flexibility to choose his own student-teaching location.
“I was drawn to UST because they were so helpful and accommodating with student teaching requests,” he said. “ It was clear that St. Thomas School of Education values each individual student and places a lot of emphasis on practical experience for teachers. UST allowed me to engineer my own path to complete my courses at UST and do my student teaching in a completely different city, several hours away. “
At his request, LeJeune was placed at nationally recognized Marcus High School in Flower Mound, which has won three consecutive Texas State Marching Band Championships among numerous other prestigious awards.
“It was amazing to be under the guidance of master teachers who are so highly regarded in their field,” he said. “Just to learn the teaching strategies, see behind the scenes, and learn the logistics of running such a high caliber band program taught me how I can apply and recreate those strategies in my own teaching.”
Learn more about education degrees at UST.