With her outgoing personality and ability to connect with her students on a personal level, Ms. Wagner has become a beloved teacher amongst VVHS students and has been able to gain the trust and heart of many. I had the privilege to interview her and get an inside scope of what her life is like all the way from teaching to music tastes.

Ms. Wagner in all of her glory posing for a picture.

HR (Hector Ruiz, Interviewer) MW(Ms. Wagner)

Start of Interview

HR: Thank you for doing this again, I have a couple of questions written down for you.

MW: Yeah, no problem

HR: Okay first question, what made you want to become a teacher?

MW: I have always considered being a teacher ever since I was young, I’ve always loved working with people and watching people having those lightbulb moments when they figure something out. I started teaching Bible classes at church when I was younger which led to wanting to be an art teacher to finally deciding on music. Music is what finally called to me and made me realize this was most likely what I came here to do.

HR: Thank you for that, that is so interesting. Next question, what makes this job all worth it?

MW: You all! The children, [laughter]. You guys make my experience as a teacher better than anything. I could come in here and do my thing but if you all didn’t respond well to me or put your heart into it as you guys do, it would not be a good experience. I could be having a bad day but you know what, it doesn’t matter what is going on for me right now, we have a band and we have to make it worth it. Especially this past year you know I’ve had some health issues but we have a band and we have to make it fun. So yeah my answer is you!

Ms. Wagner snapping a selfie with the pep band during a VVHS basketball game. (Photo: Ms. Wagner)

HR: I love that, thank you. Okay so moving on, what is your favorite part of being a teacher I know you’ve kind of already touched on that but anything else?

MW: I really just like that I can be a big goofy kid and I don’t have to be too serious. You know we’ve built that mutual respect and we can just have fun from there. I get to make music with all of you and that’s all I could ever ask for.

HR: Okay, what is your least favorite part about being a teacher?

MW: Least favorite part? Hmm, getting up early! [laughter], I’m not an early riser. I think it’s either that or grades if I didn’t have to grade that would be much better. But I think our new grading reform policy could potentially make that easier once we get the hang of it. It should be making it easier for us to grade you guys and making it easier to focus on your guys’ grades. So that’s probably the least favorite part, the paperwork.

Ms. Wagner makes sure we get the music right by signaling us with her wand and hand. (Photo: Hector Ruiz)

HR: This question is a little bit out there but since music is such a big part of your life, what would you describe your music taste like?

MW: Music taste? Well, I always claim I like everything and I do I can respect every type of music. But I personally grew up listening to country music with my mom and Christian rock and pop music. That evolved into me liking pop-punk music and metal music and heavier stuff and that comes from my experience in drumming and my love for rhythmic stuff. When it comes to performing music though I love a lot of modern pop marimba music. When I did my Senior recital I did pop music on the marimba. Does that answer your question? [laughter].

HR: [Laughter] Yeah it does, so I guess one question I have that I didn’t plan is what is one of your favorite memories this year?

MW: There’s definitely been a lot, this year has been an interesting one. I think it was a very special marching band season but I say that every time because I love marching band. But this year we had a really special group and our show was really special and was received really well. I felt really proud of what I was able to create for you all and I was really proud of how you all transformed it and performed it. Just anytime we get to perform I go home and cry like “This is such a great day, I just love you all” [laughter] or the day I fell over with my bass drum… just kidding [laughter]. I did like when I got to conduct for you guys in championships, I was full of pride for y’all. Just being up there and being in front of you is something that doesn’t happen ever usually. I’ll cherish that memory forever.

HR: I loved that, so last question. What advice would you give someone who is trying to get into a band or become a band teacher?

MW: Well if you’re wanting to join the band in general, just do it. But if you’re trying to go into secondary stuff and past, you have to be ready and willing to work. It is very difficult to do and you have to be passionate about it if you’re not passionate it’s gonna be very difficult for you. There have been many days where I was just crying over a marimba [laughter]. There is a lot of effort that you have to put into playing and the teaching side of things. I say if your heart is in it and you want to do it, do it, you could always change your mind later. To save y’all time, don’t do it my way, I did something different in college and I don’t like to say I wasted my time but I spent a couple of years doing something different instead of practicing music as I should have. Just because I wasn’t confident and music is a very intensive program and it has specific ways you have to finish and it will take you a bit longer to finish a music degree.

HR: Thank you for that, okay well that was it, thank you for letting me interview you!

MW: Yeah, thank you for choosing me to be the teacher spotlight!

HR: It was great to be able to interview; should I say the most liked teacher in VVHS? Now we’re getting into controversial topics! [laughter]

MW: [laughter]

End of Interview

If you would like to find out more about our wonderful teachers at Virgin Valley High School, please contact the school or visit the school website at https://vvhsdawgs.org/.

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