Retiree: Mark Kretschmer


Danielle Stevens

Mark Kretschmer stands next to the awards the band has been awarded from the State Music Festival.

Danielle Stevens, Managing Editor

Q: What college did you attend?

A: I attended The University of Iowa.


Q: How many years have you been a band director?

A: I have been teaching overall 39 years.


Q: How long have you been teaching at West?

A:I have been teaching at West for 38 years.


Q: Why did you decide to be a band director in the first place?

A: My high school band and choir directors’ passion and the love for what they did kind of bit me, and then in ninth grade, I knew I was going to pursue music someway.


Q: Did you ever think of doing another profession?

A: I did, at one point I thought I was going to be a math teacher, and then I took geometry and it turned sour for me. I thought about being a minister at one point also. I was apart of a statewide youth group, but I knew I had the band thing going.


Q: What will you miss about teaching?

A: The students, it’s going to be hard because you’re walking away from people that are still in the middle of their excellence. I’ll also miss my music colleagues like Mrs.Oates.


Q: Do you recall any memorable memories while being at West?

A: Besides the concerts, the big thing that stands out is taking students out of this school and taking them to Texas, Virginia, and Florida and seeing them act like adults.


Q: Why did you decide to stay at West even though you could’ve retired eight years ago?

A: I didn’t see myself retire because I could’ve finished up earlier because I was 21 when I started teaching, but I wasn’t really ready. Another contributing factor is my daughter Molly. I couldn’t see myself retiring when she was 11 years old because I knew she was coming through this direction and she and I could share that experience together.


Q: What are you planning to do once you retire?

A: I will probably putz around the house and fix up some things that need to be taken care of and try to make life easier for my wife while she’s completing her career. We also certainly hope to visit our kids and grandkids a lot more.