Friday, November 21, 2014

OHS grad recognized as top teacher

By DOUG CARDER, Herald Senior Writer | 3/21/2014

SPRING HILL — It’s Boogie Woogie time in Spring Hill.

Dan Wooge, formerly of Ottawa, has been named Spring Hill school district’s 2015 Secondary Teacher of the Year. The district announced the winners of its secondary and elementary teachers of the year March 10.

SPRING HILL — It’s Boogie Woogie time in Spring Hill.

Dan Wooge, formerly of Ottawa, has been named Spring Hill school district’s 2015 Secondary Teacher of the Year. The district announced the winners of its secondary and elementary teachers of the year March 10.

“I was very surprised and humbled [to receive the honor],” Wooge, band instructor at Spring High high and middle schools since 2012, said. “I have been really happy with my move to Spring Hill.”

Wooge, a 1992 graduate of Ottawa High School, now is in the running for the state teacher of the year award. State award winners are to be announced in the fall.

Wooge is in the midst of his 17th year as a band instructor, having taught for a combined 14 years at Osage City and Burlington high schools.

The Spring Hill band program has grown about 15 percent since Wooge has been director, he said. Wooge started a jazz band at the high school when he came on board in 2012.

Wooge is described as combining his dedication to his students and personal love of music in a way that has transformed the schools’ bands, according to a Spring Hill school district press release announcing its award winners.

The son of Norman and Karen Wooge, rural Ottawa, Wooge graduated from Baker University in 1997 and earned a master’s degree in music education from Emporia State University in 2004. He received the Outstanding Young Band Director award from the Kansas Bandmasters Association in 1997, and in 2004 he was named Kansas’ entry into the 50 Directors Who Make a Difference, an annual list printed in School Band and Orchestra magazine.

“He loves those kids, and they love him,” his mother, Karen Wooge, said.

The veteran band instructor was inducted into the Wall of Honor at Baker University’s School of Education in 2006, and he was named the Kansas Music Educators Association’s Outstanding Educator for 2010.

“There’s never a dull moment, and the days go by very fast,” Wooge said of his love for teaching.

Wooge is scheduled to take the Spring Hill marching band to San Diego to participate in the city’s Memorial Day parade. Wooge said his goal is to help students gain traits that will help them become accomplished adults, with a focus on personal responsibility, individual effort and self-respect.

“I challenge the kids and hold them to high expectations,” he said, “and I think that is where success comes in.”

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