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Calgary band director receives national teaching award: ‘He puts in an insane amount of work’

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Calgary band director receives national teaching award
WATCH: Western Canada High School's band director Brendan Hagan is one of 35 teachers nationwide to receive a Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence. Michael King reports – Jun 5, 2019

For about a decade, Brendan Hagan has been at the helm of Western Canada High School’s music program, and on Tuesday, his hard work was nationally recognized.

Hagan is one of 35 teachers across Canada who received a Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence this year.

Students and parents who nominated Hagan for the award wrote a summary of their nomination letter that was submitted to the federal government.

“The Western Canada High School band program is among the finest of its kind in Canada and the largest in Alberta solely due to the careful and very expert leadership of its teacher Mr. Brendan E. Hagan,” it read.

Hagan said that while music is what he teaches, he knows a structured group activity like band can help students become more well-rounded.

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“They know work ethic and they know how to work with teams,” said Hagan. “The best part is getting to work with them as young adults who are destined for amazing things.”

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Students like Madison Paton said the award is well-deserved.

“He puts in an insane amount of work. He’s honestly up 24 hours a day sometimes,” said Paton.

Laura Mielke added that what makes Hagan stand out as a teacher is his genuine effort to connect with every student.

“He really cares deeply for every single one of the students,” said Mielke. “He gets to know each and every one of us on a personal level.”

Hagan has taught band, choir and electronic music throughout his time at Western.

He said that all the early morning and after-school rehearsals pay off when he sees his Grade 12 students graduate, whether they go on to study music or not.

“I hope they go on to be the world‘s police officers or surgeons. It doesn’t matter what they go on to,” said Hagan. “We talk about doing what you’re excited about because then you always do your best work.”

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