Feature Teacher


Name: Mike Buskirk
School and subjectsirected: Rim Country Middle School

Currently: All bands and 7/8 creative drumming classes.

Past classes: Musical theater, handbells, sixth general music. Extra: Jazz band, academic team

College degree and major: AA Palomar College 1978, BA Instrumental Music Education San Diego State University, 1980, Masters Band Conducting Southern Oregon University, 2007

Years teaching: 13 in Payson, 10 in Ramona, Calif., third through 12th grades

Why do you teach? I used to play a lot of gigs at Camp Pendleton, MCRD right after the U.S. got out of Vietnam. I thought about joining the Marines to help stop the fighting in the world caused by ‘undesirables' and ‘terrorists.' Then I realized I would beoing that by killing people. To those people -- I would be the terrorist. I decided better way was to teach young people to accept each other, in hopes they wouldecome compassionate adults. Music is the universal language which knows no bounds of age or time. What better vehicle to teach the concepts of patience, persistence, cultural diversity, unity, human ideals, or emotional expression?

Personal motto: If you're gonna do it, do it right.
Words of wisdom:od has givens everythinge need.

We don't have to ask for anything, just use what he has supplied, to the best ofur abilities, every single minute.Then, thank him for the experience.

Family: Partner/friend/wife: Daria Mason. She plays the flute, voice, guitar, handbells.

Sons: Kit, aged 14. He plays the French horn, voice, cello, handbells. John, age 12, plays - trombone, euphonium, voice, cello, handbells; and German exchange son:Joshua Hegenauer, age 16. He plays the drums, guitar.

Turn offs:eople who think they can't, because they're right.

Turn ons:eople who think they can, because they're right!(I surround myself with them!)

Favorite hobby or leisure activity:Music is my life. Personsin history you'd most like to meet and why:

My great-grandparents, and their parents, and theirs, and... I want to knowhat kind of people they werend thank them for their love of each other.Without them, I wouldn't be.

Why Pine? I am a fourth-generation Californianho was brought up in an open down-home country lifestyle and wanted those experiences for my family.That lifestyle disappeared in 1979 when the last open valley on Interstate 5 between Mexico and Oregon was paved over.When we saw the unfinished timber frame house on the edge of the meadow up on Hardscrabble Mesa in 1990 we bought it, without jobs, Arizona credentials, or enough money. It's like being on vacation every day.
In school, who was your favorite teacher and why? Mrs. Blackman, from second grade. She knew I was smart, even when the other teacher didn't think so. Sheet me do fifth-grade math and taught some of us Spanish. In junior high, my favorite teacher was Mr. Arndt. He taught science and changed my ‘D' attitude into an ‘A Honors' attitude, with his cool attitude. Mr. Augenbaugh taught physics and was my favorite teacher in high school. We played with mercury, fire, Tonka trucks, Van Degraff generators, liquid nitrogen and made cast iron ice bombs -- all without OSHA safety gear.
What was your favorite subject in school and why?Music, math, science and logic.

What was your favorite year in school and why?Eleventh grade. I was inhow choirith Cindy Landis, now know nationally as Andy Landis, the singer/author/actress/composer/motivational speaker. She helped me to realize I was just as good as everyone else. She set a standard for my life.

Featured teachers are given a $25 gift certificate, courtesy of Chili's Restaurant.

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