Updated Sat, Apr 19, 2014 9:16 am
A three-decade gig is apparently long enough for teacher and former band director Terry Robb.
Robb spent 31 years as a band director, finishing his career at Nelsonville-York City Schools after moving to town from the Toledo area with his wife, Cheryl.
It’s the music that brought him through his career, and he plans to keep up his art after retirement.
“I coordinated District 17 honor band, I’ve been an Ohio Music Education Association judge and an all-county jazz band,” Robb said. “You could say I like to promote the arts.”
With changes to the State Teachers Retirement coming in 2015, Robb decided his 36th year would be his last, but he didn’t decide without hesitation.
“I had the letter written for about two weeks and I knew I had to hand it in before (the April 9 Board of Education) meeting, but I waited until the afternoon before it was due to hand it to them,” Robb said.
It was at the April 9 meeting that the Board of Education approved his retirement, effective at the end of this school year.
Robb started his career with 18 students in the band, building it up to travel to state contests and watching them grow as individuals as well.
“So many thousands of kids have gone through that I’ve taught,” Robb said. “It’s rewarding to see them go through.”
He soon partnered with Janice Paris as co-band director, but when the school wanted to cut one of the directors, he offered to leave for an administration job.
“Janice is like family to me, I treat her kids like they are my grandchildren,” Robb said. “I’d had my years in so I stepped aside.”
He became Dean of Students at Nelsonville-York Elementary in 2009 and learned a completely new way to interact with the students.
“When you go to administration, you learn different things about the needs of the kids,” Robb said. “The love that the kids need and the care they need. Sometimes school is the most structure some of them get in their lives.”
Even as he leaves the halls of Nelsonville-York, he plans to keep his history as a music teacher going. For the future of the school district, Robb said simple advice is best.
“Stay positive and do your best for the kids,” Robb said. “It’s all about the kids.”