Name: Steve Dresen
Position: Choir director at Bonneville High School
Years experience: 21st year at Bonneville, 30th year in District 93
What made you want to go into music and education?
I have spent my entire life around music. I remember sitting in my grandmother’s living room listening to her play the organ. ... When I entered college, I decided I wanted more money than what I would make as a teacher so began as a pre-med student with the desire to eventually become a surgeon. After serving a mission in Guatemala, I returned with a conviction to pursue what I loved, which was music despite the money, and became a music major.
What do you enjoy the most about teaching choir for high school students?
As every parent of a teenager knows, there is a burgeoning independence and awareness of self. They have an exuberant energy and are still incredibly malleable. Once they “buy in” to what you are offering them their drive and commitment are complete. There is an exciting and sobering element to the trust they place in you as they invest fully into the pursuit of excellence.
Why do you think it’s important for students to take music and art classes?
Amidst the movement for greater preparation and earlier mastery in the STEM areas of education, we must not forget that a lack of development of the whole will not produce the results we seek. The United States of America is home to the creators and inventors of the world. We excel because of those very traits that are fostered in music and art classes.
As an art teacher, do you feel separated from the science and English teachers at Bonneville?
I do not. We have a great collaborative relationship at Bonneville and are currently working on ideas that will deepen those interdepartmental connections for the benefit of all our students.
Do you have kids that went to school in D93? If so, did that change your approach to teaching?
I live in Rexburg, and my children have all attended school there. Our sixth child is currently in ninth grade, the others have all graduated high school. I don’t know what it is like to have your own children in your school and your program. I often lament that I was not able to share that experience with them.