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Choir director surprised as Teacher of the Week in same room where he got his start singing

Rory Closz has been teaching choir at Mona Shores Middle School, where he got his own start singing, for five years.

NORTON SHORES, Mich. — He got his start singing in sixth grade in the choir room at Mona Shores Middle School. That’s the very classroom where we surprised Rory Closz with the news that he’s our next Teacher of the Week.

He told 13 ON YOUR SIDE, “I’m really surprised, thank you so much, nice!”

He’s now training a new generation of singers in the same room where he got his start.

“I actually grew up in the Mona Shores community. So, I went through the district here at Mona Shores and then five years ago when a job opened up here directing choirs in the middle school, I was excited to have the opportunity to apply for it,” said Closz.

He says it’s why he can relate the experiences of his students, explaining that, “Some days we come in and we’re ready to work and some days we come in and we’re not ready to work, and I know what that’s like.”

Doug Ammeraal is the principal at Mona Shores Middle School. He told us he was “crazy excited for Rory. For the time and energy and effort and the heart and passion that he puts into our kids and into the choir program.”

“Choir is just, to me, one of the best subjects because it gets down to the root of what humans are. We create music with our bodies. It’s the oldest form of music,” said Closz, who added that, “being able to just have fun with it with middle school kids every day is just a joy.”

“Performing arts are pivotal in a lot of ways, right? The impact that they can have on the student as an individual and the impact it can have on them academically is phenomenal,” said Ammeraal.

“It’s really fun working with the kids every day and it’s just nice to be recognized for it,” said Closz.

If you have someone you’d like to nominate for our next Teacher of the Week, just text “teacher” to 616-559-1310.


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