Starting a New Adventure

Well, we told the students today, so I guess that makes it "official"... This year will be my last at Centennial High School. This past Spring, my wife completed her PhD program in mechanical engineering at Iowa State University and accepted a tenure track professorship at the University of Virginia! We moved her out there at the beginning of November, where she is doing some contracted work with NASA Langley before beginning at UVA in February. I have not yet found a job out in the Charlottesville area yet, but it is still pretty early in the process. I see three options moving forward: a teaching gig in Virginia, getting really good at riding my bike to all of the establishments, or a doctoral program in music education. Someone has to train the future music eduactors to be the funniest band directors in the tri-state area!

In all seriousness, I am looking for middle school and high school teaching positions near Charlottesville, Virginia. If you know people I should be getting in touch with, please let me know!

I am also applying for Boston University's Doctor of Musical Arts in Music Education Online program. I am interested in what best practice looks like in the field of music education like the intersection of the work of John Hattie or Robert Marzano, or looking at how we begin instrumental music education, or even looking at how we train the future music educators in the collegiate setting.

As I told my students, parents, and colleagues: it has truly been an incredible experience teaching in Ankeny, not only because I grew up here, but because I am surrounded by such a supportive community of students and parents and a team of teachers that are very good at what they do. They have all made this such a great place to work.

That being said, Centennial will soon have a new position posted for Assistant Director of Bands! If you read any of this infrequently updated blog or follow me on social media, you know that we deliver instrumental music in a 6-12th grade vertical system, and we believe in using standards-referenced practices in that delivery. My job is pretty great:

  • I direct the Symphonic Band (10th grade) and Jazz Collective (top auditioned 9-12th grade ensemble).

  • I teach Music Fundamentals (non-AP music theory course).

  • I give lessons to almost every 6-12th grade low brass student in our feeder system.

  • I co-direct the Centennial Marching Band (9-12th grade) with a team of 5 other outstanding teachers.

  • And in all of these settings, I get to work with incredible students, parents, and teachers.

If you are at all interested, please let us know! We will be posting more information when the district posts the job opening.

And like I told the students, there is a whole lot of year left! Come and enjoy the time we have left together to make music!

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Burton Hable

Burton Hable is an instrumental music educator from Central Iowa. In 2013 he helped open Centennial High School in Ankeny, the first time in forty years that a school district in Iowa expanded to two high schools. He served there through 2018 as Assistant Director of Bands: conducting the 10th Grade Symphonic Band, directing the varsity Jazz Collective, co-directing the Centennial Marching and Pep Bands, teaching music theory, and providing individual and small group lessons to brass students in grades 6-12 at Prairie Ridge Middle School, Northview Middle School, and Centennial High School. During his tenure in Ankeny, enrollment in band grew from 450 to nearly 700, the jazz program expanded from four to seven ensembles, and ensembles under his direction were invited to perform at Iowa State University, Harper College, and the Veterans Day Parade in New York City.