Analy High School’s lauded music teacher Vance Regan is retiring.
Regan submitted his resignation to the West Sonoma County Board of Trustees Wednesday. The job vacancy is currently posted at http://wscuhsd.k12.ca.us/Vacancy/Certificated/06-27-2013_Music_Teacher.pdf
Since 1992, Regan has led the Analy’s instrumental music program, growing the program from 65 students two decades ago to 210 in 2012-13. The highly decorated program has been the highest rated orchestral program in the region,according to Regan. Analy’s musicians regularly appear at San Francisco Giants games and other events. The band has traveled to Chicago to perform, as well as to Disneyland.
“It’s a very successful, very accomplished group,” Regan said of the Tiger musicians who commit to the program every year.
“Upwards of 15 percent” of Analy’s student body participates in the music program, Regan said. “That alone speaks volumes.”
Regan, who has long been a vocal proponent of supporting arts in education, even through the deepest state budget cuts, said he submitted his retirement papers a year before he had originally intended to bow out after being disappointed by a school board decision last fall to remodel Analy’s bathrooms before constructing a new band room.
Regan said upwards of 80 kids, and their instruments, cram into the room every day. He called upgrades a matter of safety.
“From my point of view, it’s just me, they put bathrooms ahead of the safety of my students,” he said.
“It was a very clear choice,” he said.
“I never got over that decision. I kept trying to shake it. I kept trying to shake it, but I couldn’t,” he said.
Regan began his teaching career in San Diego before going into private sector business for a decade. He eventually returned to teaching and took a job with Cotati-Rohnert Park School District where he stayed for three years before joining Analy 21 years ago.
Next year would have marked his 30th year in teaching.
School Board President Diane Landry said Regan leaves “quite a legacy at Analy.”
“It’s just amazing,” she said of the growth of the orchestra. “It’s because of his determination, because of his love of music.”
“It’s a hard thing, I would think, to stop what you are doing when you are still at the pinnacle,” she said. “Something in him must be saying it is time to go onto other things.”
Landry said the vote to prioritize remodeled bathrooms at Analy was made, in part, by students who made pleas to the board to address the aging facilities. The new band room remains a priority, she said.
“Everybody feels what they feel and that is always valid,” she said. “When you have a love and a passion for something and you live and breathe it, that is what you see.”
Applications for the music teacher position are due July 18 at 4 p.m.