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Wishes For A Happy Retirement to Mr. P!

Mr.+P+proudly+smiles+after+being+crowned+Maestro+at+his+final+Festival+Of+Sound.
Lauren Erwin
Mr. P proudly smiles after being crowned Maestro at his final Festival Of Sound.

Mr. Podolski, the well-known and beloved Orchestra teacher of Wheeling Park High School, has announced his retirement. Known by everyone as Mr. P, he is famous for his joyful attitude, (sometimes) funny jokes, and devotion to making every single student the best that they can be. He has taught in Ohio County for 37 years and has made the strings program into what it is today. 

“He is always able to bring a smile to your face and he puts time and effort into each and every one of his students,” said senior, Faith Randolph. “He really grows personal connections with all of his students.”

Mr. P has been a teacher in Ohio County Schools for 37 years and was primarily involved in the creation of the Festival of Sound in 1991, one of his proudest accomplishments.

“My [proudest moment is] every time I watch the Festival Of Sound, thinking about how it started and how it has evolved throughout the years.”

Mr. P does a great job of brightening everyone’s day with his famous phrase, “It’s a good day to have a good day”, which he usually says at the end of class with a warm grin on his face. He makes the classroom a positive and welcoming environment, trying to grow connections with all of his students. 

“I’ll definitely miss the amount of fun he brings to the class as well as how he teaches,” said sophomore, Chloe Brammer. “He makes sure everybody is involved and learning.”

Mr. P has picked up many tips and tricks in his time as a teacher, managing to teach his students in an engaging way about music and how to play it.

“All kids are different from generation to generation and you have to adjust your teaching style to meet the styles of the students you get. I’ve learned to find what each child has to offer.”

Because a large part of Mr. P’s job takes place out of school at rehearsals, practices, and concerts, the position of strings teacher is much different than what one might think of when they picture a high school teacher. Unlike in other classes, students spend the majority of class reading music instead of words. Making noise and being loud is encouraged, as long as that noise is coming from an instrument.

After spending over 37 years of his life learning the right ways to play and teach music, Mr. P says that his main pieces of advice to the next strings teacher would be to “be nice, allow the students to have choices in the music that they perform, be involved, and work hard!”

Mr. P has had a long and successful career in music and will be missed by all past and present students involved in the music department and Ohio County. When asked what he is looking forward to in retirement, he responds that he looks forward to “being able to spend time with my wife, dogs, cats, do some traveling, and just live a stress-free life.”

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About the Contributor
Shannon Wack
Shannon Wack, Staff Writer
  • Journalism I
  • Senior
  • I am a member of the Varsity Volleyball team, a Key Club officer, a REAP counselor, a Freshman mentor, and an employee at Oglebay
  • I love baking and making cookies, finding crawdads, playing with all animals and insects, and doing paint-by-numbers.
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