Our area’s most-renowned music educator has announced he’s leaving for a new career direction, in another school district. Multiple award winner Marcus Pimpleton has told the Denny International Middle School and Chief Sealth International High School communities about his departure; he’s staying with the summertime Seattle Public Schools-wide All-City Band program, but otherwise, he is moving into a school-administration role in the Bellevue district. With permission, we share his e-mail announcement in its entirety:
To my Denny and Chief Sealth Family,
It is with mixed emotions that I formally share the news that I will be leaving the Denny and Sealth community this fall to accept the position of Assistant Principal at Interlake High School in the Bellevue School District. I have had the privilege of working with the band students of Denny and Sealth for over 13 years now and it has been a source of great joy and the highlight of my life thus far. It is a tremendous understatement for me to say that this was a difficult process.
Denny and Sealth will forever hold a special place in my heart, both from my time as a student and as an educator. My time at Denny and Sealth has been full of amazing memories and milestones I shall not soon forget. I have been blessed to be a part of thousands of students making their way through the transformational power and discipline music. From the Denny Dolphin Marching Band’s first parade as the only middle school marching band in Seattle Public Schools, to the numerous middle and high school trips to places like New Orleans, New York, Washington D.C., Honolulu and Anaheim, it has been a tremendous ride. There have been amazing partnerships with local artists and community organizations as well as some pretty phenomenal concerts including the Music Night Out, Soul Jambalaya, and Band Jam. Together we have coordinated over 300 student musical performances in school and community events locally, regionally, and nationally – concrete opportunities for students to apply and demonstrate their learning in real and meaningful ways as opposed to a standardized test. It has been a tremendous blessing for me to have had this opportunity to live, learn, and serve in my community, and I pray for your continued musical success in the years ahead.
Over this past school year I have done a great deal of reflecting on the past and thinking about the future through the University of Washington’s Danforth Educational Leadership program and while I love engaging students in music making activities, I have come to believe that I have something more to contribute to the profession in developing the capacity of adults and of school systems for the improvement of the learning experience provided to our students most in need. The opportunity to learn and serve in a highly successful, highly diverse setting as a part of a strong and experienced leadership team like the one at Interlake High School is really the best thing for my career, professional learning, and goals. This new role will provide me with the next step and prepare me for more effective instructional leadership at home or in another high needs community down the road. I hope that through my example, my students will see learning as a lifelong pursuit and find the fortitude to pursue their calling and take the necessary risks in order to grow.
To my students, I want you to know that of the many aspects of this job that I will miss, the most difficult part will be leaving all of you. It has been fun watching you all as you came in, many times as tiny fourth graders to one of our spring break or summer music camps, and to watch your growth as musicians and leaders as you approached your departure for college. While I would have loved nothing more than to continue working with all of you, I believe that every student, in every school deserves access to rich and engaging teachers and curriculum and that it takes high quality school leaders to ensure that happens. I want to learn what it takes to be the type of leader that can help to ensure that all students have access to the high level instruction and experiences that put them on the path for successes in school, college, and life. This is a necessary step for me to do that. I will miss working with you all during the school year, but am excited to share that I have been invited to continue as the Director and Program Administrator for the Seattle All-City Marching Band. Next year we will be celebrating our 65th anniversary and it will be my 25th year as a part of that program. I would love to see many of you participating next summer.
Until we meet again,
Marcus J. Pimpleton
As mentioned in his announcement, Pimpleton himself is an alumnus of both Sealth and Denny. We will be following up with Denny and Sealth principals to ask about plans for who will be leading the programs he’s leaving. (Photo by WSB’s Patrick Sand, taken during last Friday’s Band Jam at SWAC)