Band parent Mrs. Jana Kingery fills marching band role after director resigns mid-season


During a meeting in the library Oct. 31 at break, Mrs. Jana Kingery introduces herself to marching band members as interim director. Members were called into the library during second period in order to understand what the rest of their season was going to consist of. Photo by Dylan de Valk.

The goal for marching band, at least for Thomas Miller, was to finish the season with a great show that marching band was proud of. But what Miller never expected was that he would be performing the closing show of the season with a whole new director and staff.

Second-year band director Mr. Kasey Searles resigned unexpectedly Oct. 29. The exact cause for the resignation has not been determined, although rumors circulated about marching band staff misconduct at a recent competition. Assistant Principal Mr. Jeff Dietrich said he was unable to comment on the nature of the resignation because it is a personnel issue.

Due to its unexpectedness, band members were surprised when they found out that Searles had resigned.

“The first day I found out about our director resigning, I was kind of just left in shock. It wasn’t until the second day that we also discovered that all of our staff had quit,” Amelia Kong said. 

Due to his sudden resignation, marching band was forced to miss practice last week. With the season coming to a close, such practice was crucial for upcoming events. 

“It was an important week too, so we could add multiple things to the show to make it look better overall,” Jeven DuRand said.

Two days after learning about the director’s resignation, band members were called into the library to meet Mrs. Jana Kingery, the interim band director, Oct. 31.

Kingery volunteered to act as interim band director after an email was sent to marching band parents by Principal Justin Cutts, explaining the situation and what had occurred. The email did not ask for volunteers, however Kingery replied in regards about a position.

“They were not specifically asking for a replacement, but I took the initiative. I was notified about taking over this position on Oct. 30 at 2:10 p.m,” Kingery said.

Despite being a science teacher at Victory High School, Kingery felt her high school marching band experience would be enough to see the remainder of the season through.

Kingery wants to see the season end on a positive note. During the meeting, she talked about creating a more positive environment within the team for the remainder of the season.

The first practice with Mrs. Kingery was this past Monday, Nov. 4. Kong, anxious about their current situation, felt relieved after practice.

“Since Monday’s rehearsal, I feel more at ease with everything because I had so many questions answered. I’m not worried about our last competition as much. We got to meet everyone who would help us out and they told us how our practices would go,” Kong said.

Kingery was not the only volunteer to step up and help finish the season, which led to members having to adjust.

“We’ve had parents step up into leadership positions which takes some adjusting too, and Mr. [Kris] Harper has been helping out as well. The whole band has just been adjusting to different teaching styles,” Miller said.

We are still going strong and we are still going to put out a great show we can all be proud of”

— Thomas Miller

Miller’s goal for marching band hasn’t changed, even though major changes were implicated. 

“We are still going strong and we are still going to put out a great show we can all be proud of,” Miller said.

With this attitude, Sofia Budd believes the band will be able to pull through to the end of the season. 

Budd said, “As long as we stay together as a band, I believe we are going to do fine.”

Marching band’s last competition is Nov. 16 at Lincoln High School in Stockton.