LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Mark Gradillas

Position: Retiring Music, Band, Choir, Leadership Teacher
School: Silver Stage Middle School
School District: Lyon County School District
City, State: Silver Springs, NV

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Music that Describes Mark

Mark Gradillas was nominated by an anonymous colleague.

Mr. Gradillas is the kind of teacher we all strive to be.  He spent his career teaching music, band, choir and leadership to kids in Arizona and Nevada.  He decided to move into administration 15 years ago, and he worked as a principal until he retired...the first time.

Five years ago, Silver Stage Middle School was unable to find a music and band teacher. Somehow, the administration talked Mr. Gradillas into returning to the classroom. Coincidentally, it was the first school he taught at in Nevada. He agreed to do it, as long as it was for just one year.

Five years later, Mr. Gradillas has successfully built up a quality high school music program, as well as a feeder program at the middle school. He genuinely loved teaching students, and they loved him (and still love him) in return. Mr. Gradillas truly came full circle, starting and ending his career teaching the subjects about which he was most passionate, in the school he loved, teaching students that needed him more than he ever knew. There is still more he would like to do with the program, but chronic back problems have made it necessary for him to retire, again.

"They say music is the universal language. Mark speaks it fluently," said his nominator. "More importantly, though, he speaks kid, and that is the most powerful gift of all."

Comments (3)

Ashlynn Bushek Posted 6 months ago

I was a student of Mr. Gradillas for my junior and senior year, I wouldn’t of wanted anyone else to lead and help arrange events with through out the last two years. I’m glad fellow students and myself had the chance to have such an amazing person to learn from. Definitely made my senior year a year to remember in leadership.

Jan Howe Posted 7 months ago

Thanks for sharing your Journey with our students!!! See you back as a sub! I taught 35 years in Ohio and retired in 2005...moved to NV...became a Foster Grandparent at Silver Stage Elementary and then a journey has been so full of joy and love thanks to our staff and students!

Annabelle Younger Posted 7 months ago

Congratulations Mr Gradillas! You have been great! Thank you for many years of working with our kids and making them sound so good!