The official student media of Blue Valley Northwest High School


The official student media of Blue Valley Northwest High School


The official student media of Blue Valley Northwest High School


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BVNW Speaks

Northwest’s band director Daniel Kirk resigns

After three years as band director, Daniel Kirk announces he will leave Northwest and stop working in public education.
Northwest band director Daniel Kirk will be leaving at the end of the school year.
Northwest band director Daniel Kirk will be leaving at the end of the school year.

Band Director Daniel Kirk recently announced he will no longer teach in public school districts after the 2023-2024 school year. Despite enjoying his time at Northwest, Kirk said he wants to recalibrate his work-life balance by switching to work in the private sector in training and development. 

Kirk began working at Northwest in the 2021-2022 school year. He said when he saw an opening for the band director position he did not hesitate to apply because of his admiration for the Northwest program. 

“I knew it’d be a positive experience to work with students in Blue Valley and help carry on the traditions of the Northwest band,” Kirk said. 

During his time at Northwest, Kirk said the band had received multiple Grand Champion Awards and superior ratings at all of the festivals they entered. In addition, the band grew by over 50 people in this time, which Kirk said led to more success in the program. 

“The quality of our music making in the past three years has really increased because of the hard work of students,” Kirk said. “Recovering from the setbacks [of] everything that COVID entailed was an uphill climb. But, the students worked really hard.”

Similarly, junior Kate Ringgenberg, who is a clarinet section leader, said the band’s capabilities have increased over the past three years. She said this is because of Kirk’s expertise and ability to articulate his wants.

“He’s really good at telling you how to be better in a way that is feasible,” Ringgenberg said. “He has so much knowledge and wisdom I feel he shared over the past three years.”

Additionally, Ringgenberg said Kirk was able to create a good environment in the band room where students feel comfortable, fostering more success. 

“He’s really worked on creating a good environment and making us better at the same time,” Ringgenberg said. “He’s always going to support you. He’s your biggest fan. He’ll push you, but it’s because he wants you to succeed.”

Ringgenberg said Kirk’s energy plays a key role in the program’s community. She said even when it is early in the morning, there is a sense of spirit and camaraderie.

“He [creates] a sense of community in the way that he brings everyone together,” Ringgenberg said. “He just tries to make it fun and always keeps it interesting.”

Ringgenberg said some of her favorite memories with Kirk are him letting people pie him in the face on the last day of band camp and starting a water war on the last rehearsal before school.

Similarly, Kirk said he has great memories with the students as they are fun and engaging. He said his favorite part of his job is the students.

“It’s the day-to-day interactions with really bright, intelligent and funny students that will be some of my memory highlights,” Kirk said. 

Ringgenberg said she will miss Kirk’s personality and energy and is grateful for his time as her director. 

“I’m so grateful to have had him the past three years,” Ringgenberg said. “I’ve learned so much about how to be a good musician, but also a better person.”

Kirk advised his students to know they are capable of the world and have limitless potential. He said he wants his students to find something they are passionate about and go for it, despite the hardships they may encounter.

“Things won’t always be roses and sunshine,” Kirk said. “Lean into the hard work, be resilient, and [you] can face any challenge that comes [your] way.”

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About the Contributor
Sydney Barnett
Sydney Barnett, Chief Writer
Sydney Barnett is a junior and Chief Writer for “The Express.” This is her second year on staff. Outside of newspaper, Sydney is involved in BVNW Ambassadors, Mu Alpha Theta, Spanish NHS, Quill and Scroll, Team Up for St. Jude, Muse, girl’s soccer and basketball. Outside of school, she enjoys playing soccer, hanging out with her friends, listening to music and going on walks. Sydney also loves working with kids and babysitting. She is excited to be a part of the newspaper staff this year at Northwest. 

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