Steck ends on a high note
Every school year students and faculty face an overwhelming reality: retirement. Though we are happy to see favorite teachers open a new chapter in their life, students are sad that some of the most appreciated educators are saying goodbye. This year, the music department is delivering a bittersweet farewell to a highly respected and honored man: Mr. Steck.
Steck has been teaching at LPHS for 22 years. During his years at the high school, he was driven and led many fantastic musicians to success. He was dedicated and helped the LaPorte Marching Band take home first place at State last year. He was a mentor to many and privately taught endless students how to successfully play the trumpet. Not only is Mr. Steck a skilled and talented trumpet player, he is a wonderful teacher and friend.
Steck came to LaPorte in 1994 from LaCrosse High School. During his time at LPHS, he taught a variety of music classes including Concert and Symphonic Band, Jazz Band, Men’s Chorus, Music Theory and more.
“Mr. Steck has probably made the biggest influence in my life. He’s a fantastic mentor, teacher, and friend. I can go to him for literally everything. Him retiring has made a huge impact on everyone, especially me,” Mackenzie West, senior, said.
Steck made the strenuous decision based on his own thoughts for what the school needed. He felt as if the band program would benefit from a fresh, young face.
“This was an extremely difficult decision to make; leaving my students is going to be the biggest challenge. I am really going to miss watching them grow and achieve success,” Steck said.
Students will never forget Mr. Steck’s charisma; they will never forget his booming laugh and kind heart. They will never forget the way he tilts his head in disbelief or the way he scrunches his face when a student hits just the right note.
“Mr. Steck is a very inspirational person. He’s affected my life in so many ways. In his classes, he focuses on constant improvement and makes sure we treat ourselves and others respectfully,” Brandon Gurrola, sophomore, said.
After retirement, Steck still plans to keep in touch with his students and will continue to offer Trumpet lessons for any students interested.
“If I could give any advice to future band students it would be to stay with it and work hard. All of the arts programs at LPHS are valuable, and loaded with life skills and lessons,” Steck said.
Steck will be remembered for always pushing students to be the best, for keeping a smile on his face through the toughest of times, for being a shoulder to cry on and always giving one a laugh when they need it.
Mr. Steck’s legacy will be passed down through the heart and soul of the students who loved him dearly. LaPorte High School will never forget Mr. Steck and all the positive change he carried with him. We wish him a safe and happy retirement.