CHICAGO — This month’s honoree teaches band and shares his love of music in the classroom, but it’s the emotional support he provides that’s been instrumental in the lives of his students at northwest suburban Huntley High School.
Before Mr. Kevin Krivosik’s band class at Huntley High, there’s conversation before the music starts.
“He will joke around with us, he’ll ask us in the beginning of class, ‘How is your day going? What is good, what is going on?’” Naomi Stange, a student, said.
Krivosik said he not only enjoys performing, but he enjoys assisting his students and helping them find their passion.
Krivosik was 12 years old when he found his passion: the French horn.
“I wanted to play the sax,” Krivosik said. “I wanted to be a jazz musician, but then I tried the French horn, and my band director was like, ‘That’s it!’ And I was like ‘Uh, I want to play the sax.’ And he goes, ‘Nope, that’s it.’ Growing up my music teachers were the ones that never gave up on me. They were the ones who pushed me to be my best, to be not only the best musician that I could be but to be the best person I could be.”
Now he’s passing along the same lessons to his own students.
“He tells us we’re the reason he wakes up in the morning. On the first day of school something that stuck with me is that he told us there is no judging inside this classroom. He wants it to be a safe environment for us,” Stange said.
For Stange – who experiences anxiety – Krivosik’s support has helped her work through challenging situations, particularly during band competitions.
“I kind of had a mental breakdown,” Stange said. “And he came over to me and said, ‘Naomi, you get yourself together right now and you’re going to perform that show like you never have before.’ And that day I felt the most confidence that I ever have, I played more than I ever have, and I was extremely proud of myself for that performance. He will do that for any student—that’s what makes him special.”
And it’s why she nominated the band director for Teacher of the Month.
“The day that I found out that he won Teacher of the Month, one of the boys was talking about it, and he went up to Mr. Krivosik and said ‘Hey Kriv! I found out who did this!’ And he’s all happy, and he high-fived me and told me thank you,” Stange said.
And like any dedicated music teacher, Krivosik plans to use the $1,000 from award sponsor Ken Allen to fix up a few instruments in the band room.
“It’s a humbling experience for me to be nominated by her and to work with these kids. I really enjoy working with these kids,” Krivosik said.