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As the long-time band director at Muscatine High School (MHS) Jeff Heid has had a positive impact on the lives of many young adults. From helping them to discover and develop their passion for making music to helping them succeed both in and out of the classroom, Heid has gone the extra mile to help his students excel. This year, one of his students, junior Rachel Mullikin, felt he deserved recognition for all his work and entered him into the WQAD Favorite Teacher Award contest. Heid won, bringing his exceptional story to light.
Each year, WQAD selects five winners for the award. The five winners from the year before select five new winners. This year, area students submitted more than 200 teachers for consideration, making Heid’s win even more impressive. Heid said that when he learned he won the award he felt, “honored. Rachel wrote about how many aspects of what I do resonate with her. It helps remind me that students do listen.”
Looking at Rachel’s letter, one can easily see what makes Heid exceptional. She shared how Heid used time outside of school to take a group of band students to the Midwest Band Clinic in Chicago to help them pursue careers in performance and music education, and how his encouragement gave them even more incentive to follow their dreams. She wrote, “Mr. Heid [said], ‘I look forward to the day I am in the audience and one of you is leading a group on this stage,’ which is encouraging to all of us . . . and [helps] push us further to be great and successful individuals.” For Heid though, he considers it the most enjoyable part of his job, and as a part of his hope to inspire young musicians to consider careers in music education the same way his middle and high school band director did for him.
His passion and enthusiasm have spread to his students. At the end of her letter Mullikin stated, “I would have never wanted to pursue music education without having. . .. had Mr. Heid as my band director.” With such ringing praise, anyone can see Heid most certainly deserves an award for everything he gives to Muscatine’s students.

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