Henry Pakela

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Henry Pakela

Hello King community! My name is Henry Pakela, and I am currently in my first year of teaching at King Elementary. In fact, this is my first year of teaching all together! I am extremely happy to join the King family this year, and have enjoyed teaching beginning instrumental music to all of our 5th graders. I also teach at Clague Middle School (Band Co-Director), and Logan Elementary (5th Grade Band).

I went to the University of Michigan School of Music, Theater & Dance for my undergraduate, earning degrees in Jazz Studies and Music Education under the guidance of Dr. Dennis Wilson (jazz trombone) and Dr. Colleen Conway (music education). I completed my teaching practicum (student teaching) at Fenton High School during the winter of 2018, where I worked with composer/educator Andrew David Perkins teaching Band, Jazz, and Music Technology. Before coming to AAPS, I have held teaching positions at the Michigan State University Community Music School of Detroit, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's Civic Youth Jazz program, and the "MPulse" Summer Music Program. I also was a long time "coach" for the  Scarlett Band Academy (AAPS Summer Music), where I taught beginning band students for six summers with Deborah Katz (former King teacher), Allison Roberts and Erin Lilliefors.

I am an Ann Arbor native, having gone to Haisley Elementary, Forsythe Middle, and both Pioneer and Community High. My passion as a music educator is a reflection of my time spent in the Ann Arbor Public Schools, and the great educators I had along the way. Ultimately, my goal as a teacher is to inspire and create better people through the vehicle of Fine Art. I also believe that everyone is a lifelong learner, and practice this philosophy both with myself and my students every day.

Outside of school, I play trombone professionally, and am currently a member of the Paul Keller Orchestra and the Moving Mind Orchestra. Other activities include weightlifting, running, playing video games, and spending time with my fiancee Amanda Blackson (music teacher at Pinckney Pathfinder and Navigator) and our lovely beagle pup Beatrice!