As I sit and wait in the high school office, the hustle and bustle of the school day can be heard throughout the halls.
When the office door opens, the bubbly Laura Engels walks in. She is the vocal music teacher for the Bondurant-Farrar High School and in her third year with the district.
A 2007 Drake University graduate, she always knew this what she was meant to do.
“I feel like I’m not coming to work; I’m just sharing my love of music with my students,” Engels says. “My students are awesome individuals, and I love watching them grow.”
This is the most rewarding part of being a vocal music teacher for Engels. She loves to keep in touch with her students post high school.
“I hope to be an inspiration to them, and in turn, they become an inspiration to me,” she says.
Engels hopes her students are better individuals when they walk out of her classroom than when they walked in. The most memorable moments she has with her choirs is standing in front of them. From the jokes to the serious discussions, she loves it all.
“The hardest part about this job is the balancing act,” Engels says.
She has to keep in mind that the students are individuals who are involved; she has to work around everyone’s schedules, which can be quite the task in a smaller school due to the students’ involvement in numerous extra-curricular activities.
Bondurant-Farrar recently won “Best Scene” from the musical “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” in Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards, which is sponsored by the Des Moines Performing Arts. And it also received a Division I rating for the State Large Group Contest — the first time since 2000. The fall concert will be held on Oct. 21 in the high school gym. Students under Engels’ direction have performed for the Governor, the Iowa Department of Defense and have been awarded several honors, such as All-State and the state’s Outstanding Performance at Solo/Small Ensemble Contest.
The program has grown from 56 students to more than 110 students in two years. Some say Engels is the reason behind this growth. Each year, the school holds a variety show in February, and it is always sold out.
So what’s all the hype about? Get your tickets early, and check it out this winter.