Dollins’ Dream

Choir teacher plans to continue department’s success


Mia Rice

The new choir teacher at Blue valley high.

Mia Rice, Staff Writer

From transferring to online learning to a long-time teacher retiring, the choir department still had one major change waiting for them once they returned to school — new teacher Sam Dollins.

Former choir teacher Marsha Moeller led the Blue Valley choirs for 34 years — her retirement was dreaded but respected by staff and students alike.

Although saddened by her retirement, finding a successor took priority. That is where Dollins walks into the story. Coming up on his 10th year of teaching vocal music, Dollins has experience with competitive show choir and directing.

“Blue Valley has a rich choral history with very strong music programs,” he said. “I wanted to be in a great district that has high standards for their students and staff.”

Though certainly difficult to teach choir under coronavirus precautions, Dollins said the classes have been successfully performing while practicing during online Zoom calls.

“As of right now, the plan is to continue with everything as ‘normal,’” he said. “There will be a lot of changes due to the restrictions of COVID, but we are still planning on having a musical in February.”

Choir doesn’t plan to slow down even with the surprises presented this year. It is expected to see different musical types expressed from Dollins’ younger, fresher style.

“I had to adjust my expectations as I do not get the immediate feedback that you would normally get in the classroom,” he said.

Even with so much to anticipate, Dollins looked forward to meeting his students the most.

“It [was] weird being three weeks into the school year not knowing what the kids look like or how they act in my class,” he said.

Online classes made it a little more difficult to interact with even previous teachers, but Dollins wants any chance he can get to bond with students.

“I’ve told some classes that the only way that they can get to know me is if they stay after and talk to me,” he said. “I know that it isn’t ideal for every student, but the students who have stayed after class know me more, and I have connected with them.”

Upholding a legacy like Moeller’s wouldn’t be anyone’s ideal introduction into a school, but Dollins looks at it as an optimistic opportunity.

“The great part about following a ‘titan’ such as Marsha is that the students love singing and have a strong desire to be great,” Dollins said. “There will be many bumps along the road, but I know that BVH is where I’m supposed to be at this time of my life.”