The KUSD music program changed the direction of my life.

I had a connection with choral music from a very young age. I loved singing and I was being noticed by my music teachers. They gave me so many opportunities to grow and learn as a young vocalist.

I was the youngest of five children, none of whom went to college before me. My high school choir director encouraged me to pursue music as a career and to attend university.

Long story short, I started college after high school but didn’t go back to finish my degree until I had children of my own who were involved in the KUSD music program. After seeing them perform, I remembered the encouragement I had gotten from that choir director and I enrolled in college again at age 37, graduated from Carthage College at age 41 and started teaching elementary music for KUSD in 2001.

It also gave direction, responsibility, dedication and joy to my children while they were in public school. We had this huge thing in common, our love of music and performing.

Those years in school were very, very good for all of us, I believe, because they had remained involved in the KUSD music program through their high school years. Our lives were so enriched by the excellent quality of the programs and the dedication of the teachers who taught them. And, those teachers were wonderful role models for me as a KUSD music teacher.

I felt very successful and truly loved teaching and knew that I had been called to do it. But, I don’t know that I would have ever pursued it past high school if it weren’t for the encouragement of my choir director. That is the power of caring and dedicated teachers and a strong music foundation based on excellence that has always existed in Kenosha.

We are so fortunate to have it. I can’t even begin to imagine how many young lives have been enriched because of their involvement in the music programs in the KUSD.

Rebecca Whitefoot, Pleasant Prairie (KUSD student from 1969-77, KUSD music teacher from 2001-16, family members)

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