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Get to know Eric Heithoff, a 2006 Neligh-Oakdale graduate who has found his way back to his roots teaching in Elgin.
Where did you graduate from high school? What year? I graduated from Neligh-Oakdale in 2006.
What college did you attend? (years & degree) I graduated from Northeast Community College in 2008 with an Associates in Music Education, and then from Wayne State College in 2011 with my Bachelors in K-12 Vocal/Instrumental Music Education.
What places have you taught? Sutton Public Schools- 2012-2013, Elgin Public Schools- 2013 to present.
How many years have you taught? This is my sixth year.
What subject/class do you teach? PK-12 Music, which includes general music, 7-12 band, and 7-12 choir.
What is your favorite part of teaching? I really enjoy interacting with all of the students. Seeing them learn to enjoy and create great music makes the job really worthwhile.
What are most excited about for 2017-18 school year? All the new music! Our band and choir are performing a number of new pieces, and the elementary will debut a new mini-musical at the winter concert.
Do you have any extracurricular activities you are in charge of? Music at Elgin is co-curricular, which means there are a bunch of extracurricular things like honor bands and choral clinics that the students get involved in. I help students to audition for these groups, and we will also be hosting our conference choral clinic this year as well. We also host a middle grades instrumental solo contest each year, and participate in District Music Contest as well. I will also be helping with junior high wrestling.
What are your classroom goals for the year? This year we are really focusing on the fundamentals of music making. Singing solfege in choir and learning scales in band, as well as all of the basics learned in elementary music.
What brought you to teach here? I have a lot of family that live in the area, as well as work in the school district.
Can you tell me a little bit about your family? My wife Emily teaches music at Orchard Public Schools, and I have a son Brian that is in the 6th grade, and a newborn daughter Robin. My parents live in Neligh, and I have two brothers. My brother Alex currently works for Burlington Northern Railroad as an Engineer, and Blake is attending Northeast Community College for a degree in agriculture.
What are your hobbies? My hobbies include hunting, fishing, gardening, and reading; as well as performing with various music groups in the area from time to time.