Forreston High School band director's Teacher of the Week award - – Rockford’s News Leader

Forreston High School band director's Teacher of the Week award is music to his ears


It was music to Mr. Chip Braker's ears. Not the instruments, but the announcement that he had earned Teacher of the Week, in his final year of teaching, and after 31 years, this is what he'll miss.

"If I can make playing music exciting for that kid who's just there to be with his friends or that kid who's very serious about music," Forreston High School band director, Mr. Chip Braker, says. "That's my goal, is to make a fun, exciting, fulfilling experience for them."

He broke a record, not during his career, but by being nominated 17 times to earn this award. 17 letters from students, parents and staff. He's really is a musical rock star at Forreston High School and while times have changed since the beginning, his love for music has remained constant.

"All the club sports, the Internet, the video games," Braker says. "All these things are competing for kids time and as a band director I have to make my activity as interesting or more than all these things they get to do."

Braker's energy continues to shine in his last weeks of school, but afterward, he plans to spend time with his family and the woman who he says makes it all possible.

"The person behind for all of these years has been my wife, the most fantastic person on the face of the earth," he says. "None of this could've happened with her supporting and loving me."

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