ILWACO - Brian Bergman, Ilwaco High School's band director, has been a hit since he came to the district in the fall of 1996. But on May 23 Bergman directed his final performance as he has decided to step aside and spend more time with his young son and family.
Bergman made it clear that his decision to teach elementary music at Long Beach next term was strictly a family-oriented move. "I have felt appreciated and supported in my job. My co-workers, the administration, music boosters, and parents have all been helpful and allowed me to do my job," he said.
"Most of all the students have been great," Bergman praised. "They have met my expectations, always done their very best, and have inspired me. I am proud of them all. The best thing about my nine years as band director at Ilwaco is the respect for our band and the program that we have earned from the community and students." The IHS band has toured Canada three times and has done the same in Seattle and San Francisco. "The trip to San Francisco this year was extremely successful," he said.
While saying the students were "super" during the grueling two to three-week schedule of district and state basketball performances each year, he cited the fact that it was "difficult" to put in a full day of teaching the next day and then be gone from his family again that evening until very late.
Bergman graduated from Mount Vernon High School in 1987 and attended Western Washington University while also spending time working as a cook until his graduation from college in 1996. His first and only teaching position has been at IHS.
Bergman's duties will change considerably next year as he will teach K-6 music at Long Beach School. "I figure I'll have to come up with at least 10 activities for each period to keep the students interested and having fun," He said. "This will be a reality check, but I've already learned from (present music teacher) Suzanne Knutzen and I'm looking forward to the change."
Bergman will also teach choir and art classes besides directing the band at the newly remodeled school in Long Beach. "For the most part my job has been a lot of fun," he said.