No More Encores For Cosenza

Music Teacher Nears the End of a 30 Year Run

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Mrs. Cosenza and “the fam” take in an Indians game

Following the 2016-2017 school year Mrs. Theresa Cosenza will be retiring after teaching music for 30 of the past 38 years.  Mrs. Cosenza began her teaching career in Defiance, OH, where she was the 4th assistant in a large band program. During her second year the band traveled to California to march in the Rose Bowl parade. After the Rose Bowl, she left education when she was married and moved to the Cleveland area. Mrs. Cosenza was then hired at Willoughby Middle where she worked for 5 years. Mrs. Cosenza took a break for a few years when her kids were young but was then hired at West Geauga in 1993. She has been at West G. for 24 years.

Mrs. Cosenza and her husband, Frank, worked together here at West G for many years, after both attended Bowling Green (undergrad) and Akron (graduate school). They shared many similar goals, which made it easy to be working together. They tripled the amount of band members at the school during their time here together. After Mr. Cosenza retired a few years ago, Mrs. Cosenza was a little apprehensive about the transition. “Of course, I was concerned when Mr. Cosenza retired, but [present band director] Mr. Jason Branch proved to be very capable and it was a smooth transition. The fact that he went to the Ohio State and was in the marching band with my son and daughter has made me feel a bit ancient at times,” she said !

When looking back over her career, Mrs. Cosenza noted, “I will miss interacting with staff and students. I work with students in grades 5-12 and I enjoy all of them.  We have some of the greatest and nicest staff here at West G. I have made many good friends and I will miss them. I will NOT miss getting up at 5:00 a.m.” In addition, Mrs. Cosenza said she has noticed that, over the years, present students are more anxious to please but fewer take private lessons. She really enjoyed concert band, too, because of the challenges of pushing the students technically and musically. Mrs. Cosenza’s most rewarding experience is seeing the students starting on instruments and then continuing all the way to high school. Another rewarding experience was when her son and daughter were band members at West Geauga.

Mrs. Cosenza’s last performances at the middle school, high school and elementary schools have solidified that it is almost over and she is beginning to have career closure. She wants to make sure to thank Mr. Branch, the administration, the Band Boosters and especially the students for making everything so memorable.

Mrs. Cosenza also wants everyone to know that she has some advice for her replacement, as well as the students:

  • Show up! Students need consistency and being there is a good step towards helping your students is successful.
  • Do your best and always look for ways to improve. I’ve learned that students expect as much from me as I expect from them.
  • You don’t always have to be the last person out of the building. You can’t be at your best if you are exhausted and burned out.
  • Enjoy the people around you. The people at West Geauga are the best!

This summer Mrs. Cosenza and her husband will be traveling to Europe to visit Prague, Budapest, and Vienna. She wants, possibly, to work for a tour company in the future. Mrs. Cosenza hopes to now be able to enjoy her hobbies (including playing trombone and piano), and maybe trying some new activities.

On a final note (yes, pun intended), Mrs. Cosenza said, “It is impossible to teach without learning something, yourself. And while it is hard to believe that a career spanning 38 years is coming to an end, I hope to take what I have learned, as well as my many great memories, and look forward to the future.”

Sounds like music to our ears ! Good Luck, Mrs. Cosenza, and thanks for 24 years at West G.