Log In

Reset Password
Opinion Editorial Cartoons Op-Ed Editorials Letters to the Editor

Music teacher moving on to foundation

Please allow me to sincerely express my gratitude and love for the shared opportunities in positive, constructive, and nurturing partnerships towards the appreciation of a prosperous musical community. My passion and determination to provide music opportunities in communities and districts, in need of basic music programs, has inspired me to transition into a position that will allow for me to make greater change in the Four Corners area. This transition has led me to resign as the general music teacher at Bayfield Elementary School. However, my commitment to the students of Bayfield will continue to be a priority as I continue to work with the Bayfield School District to support the needs of our BES, BMS, and BHS music programs while maintaining my role as orchestra director at BMS.

Over the last few years I have been dedicating more and more of my time to developing programing for the Be Frank Foundation (a registered 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization) whose mission is to focus on three areas that I believe are paramount in promoting student growth and development; fine arts, athletics, and outdoor education.

One concern that many of you have voiced to me about these many programs is the lack of sustainability and potential "burn out" that will incur from operating/teaching these programs alone. Regrettably, I experienced the overwhelming stress and burn out this year. My expectations for myself are equal to that of what I expect from the students. It took all that I had to preserve a quality of instruction but it cost me quality of life (cherished relationships both personally and professionally).

With the support of the Bayfield School District, the Be Frank Foundation is committed to continuing all of our music programs. However, this will require more administrative work for myself, the foundation, and the continued support of the community. The Be Frank Foundation looks forward to the ongoing partnership with the school district to make these opportunities more sustainable for years to come.

Other school districts in the area (Silverton, Ignacio, Norwood, and Durango) have asked for the help of the Be Frank Foundation to "jumpstart" their struggling or non-existent music programs. I would love for the Be Frank Foundation to develop programs in these schools just as we have done in Bayfield.

The Be Frank Foundation would have remained a pipe dream had it not been for the tremendous support of our community in Bayfield. With your continued help and support, students in Bayfield and other communities in the Four Corners will have opportunities that foster the highest level thinking and community consciousness that we expect from our youth.

While I am working here locally with Be Frank, I will still be teaching the two elementary school orchestras, the elementary school choir, both middle school orchestras, and I hope to volunteer my time helping Derek Smith build the orchestra program at the high school.

I also plan on starting the Bayfield Youth Symphony Orchestra in the fall.

Please stay in touch. Our email is befrankfoundation@gmail.com.

Lech Usinowicz