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The Full Story

Mr. VandeWalle is a passionate and accomplished music teacher at Kocurek Elementary school in Southwest Austin. His journey into the world of music began over 30 years ago when he was just an elementary school student himself. Like many of his students today, he started playing the recorder, reading basic music notation, and singing folk songs through his school's music education class. In 5th grade, he joined the band and fell in love with playing the clarinet and saxophone.

Throughout middle and high school, Mr. Van's love for music only grew stronger as he participated in Marching Band, Concert Band, Jazz Band, and various other small ensembles. He graduated from Crockett High School in Austin, where his passion for music continued to flourish.

After high school, Mr. VandeWalle decided to pursue a career in music. He began performing live music in Austin and other cities, playing the saxophone with bands like Salsa del Rio and Blu Funk Junction. His musical talent even took him to places like Mexico, Ireland, England, and Amsterdam.

His dedication to music education led him to become a band director at the high school and middle school levels. Now, he's inspiring young hearts as an elementary music teacher at Kocurek Elementary School. He's been a part of the Austin Independent School District since 1999 and has been shaping young minds ever since.

Beyond the classroom, Mr. VandeWalle is an active author in the field of music education curriculum. He's contributed to publications like "Spotlight on Music: Interactive Listening Maps" and the "Music Memory" curriculum. He's also served in leadership roles within the music education community, including as Technology Chair and Webmaster for NAfME-Texas.

 

Mr. VandeWalle's passion for education extends beyond music. He has co-sponsored campus programs, served on the PTA board, and earned recognition as "Teacher of the Year" at both Widen Elementary and Kocurek Elementary. He currently leads the Koala Choir and various after-school programs.

 

Outside of school, he enjoys a wonderful life with his wife, Michelle, and their two daughters, Haylee and Rebecca, in Kyle, Texas. He's excited about the upcoming school year and the opportunities it will bring to make music and create lasting memories with his students at Kocurek Elementary.

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