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Dr. Shannon Roberts – Woods Cross High School

Dr. Shannon Roberts (Dr. R) is the band teacher at Woods Cross High School. I have heard it said that Woods Cross has one of the best music programs in the state. Not only does he teach students about music, he teaches them about life. He often spends time in class talking to the students about life skills and my daughter feels that he is one of the best teachers she has ever had.

My daughter Kayley Taylor plays the Oboe and has been in Dr. R’s class for the past three years. Woods Cross is performing in a music festival in San Francisco this year and my daughter is playing in the band and the full orchestra and has a solo. She was very nervous about the solo. Even though she practiced and practiced, she was still very nervous about performing. One day, Kayley went to Dr. R. to ask him for help with the solo. He spent quality time with her, but not just with her solo. He asked Kayley about her fears and made some notes for her on techniques to overcome those fears and reassuring her that she would do a good job. Then, he asked Kayley if she was ready to overcome her fears. She said yes. He asked her to follow him and they walked down the hall to the auditorium. When he opened the doors to the auditorium, she saw the entire Woods Cross Concert Choir practicing for their performance. Kayley knew most of the kids in the Concert Choir and was extremely scared and told Dr. R that she couldn’t play in front of them. He told her that she could do it. After a few minutes of coaching my resistant daughter, Dr. R asked the students to listen to Kayley’s solo. Kayley picked out a girl she knew in the choir and played to her. The first time through, her solo was not as good as it could be. Dr. R had her play the solo a second time and she nailed it. The choir applauded and she felt so good about herself. Kayley and Dr. R left the room and he told her what a great job she had done. After Kayley went to the band room to put her Oboe away, Dr. R went back into the auditorium and told the choir, “Thank you for listening. You changed a life today.” I will be forever grateful to Dr. R for spending time with my daughter that day to help her overcome her fears and make such an impact in her life. The skills he has taught her will help her not only with music but with every aspect of her life.

— Lauretta Sechrest