Drew Rhoda has been around music his entire life, so it seemed he was destined to make it a career in some way. Since playing instruments starting in fifth grade, to now teaching music at Portage High School, Rhoda’s life is exactly how he wants it.
“The best part of this job is getting to work with all the kids and staff here,” Rhoda said. “I feel honored to have helped get the program to where it is today. I wouldn’t change anything past or present. I have no complaints.”
Rhoda comes from a musically-inclined family. His mom is a former band member and his dad grew up playing the guitar. He’s been part of the Portage community for the last 10 years – a deliberate choice.
“My family and I chose to come here for the community and the school system,” Rhoda said. “We believe it is a very strong community full of hard-working people. We love it here.”
Rhoda has come to apricate the positive impact that both teaching and the arts can have on individuals and the community at large.
“I have always liked working with others and helping people,” Rhoda said.“Music touches people's lives in so many ways. It's very rewarding to be apart of that. Our motto here is to choose excellence day by day, and we put that into our product to help make the community a better place.”
While Rhoda’s wife also is a music teacher at Portage High School, Rhoda says they don't see each other as often as you think, but he still believes they maintain a great work-life balance.
“I always find myself wishing I had more time for everything,” Rhoda said. “Of course it's tough, but we are a good team and we always find a way to make it work.”
And Rhoda intends to make it work for as long as he is in the working world.
“I love teaching music,” Rhoda said. “I am very proud of all of our kids here,and seeing their growth has been very rewarding. I couldn’t picture myself doing anything else. This is where I want to be when ‘til the day I retire.”