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