Inside ECS: David Elliott
David Elliott had his eyes set on Elkhart years before becoming the Director of Bands at Elkhart Central. “This city has such a rich history of music. Elkhart is well-known in the music community, and it is clear that the music programs are well-supported from the community and administration.” David applied three times for his position, knowing the competition to lead the program would be tough, and is grateful for the opportunity to be here. In only his second year at the district, David has set high goals for the program, with the hope to inspire and empower young adults.
Within his role, David oversees Elkhart Central’s band program, and assists with middle school feeder bands, working to create a stable presence for his current and future students.
“We have the opportunity to directly impact our feeder schools. That’s not an opportunity that most schools get. It’s really great to be able to see the kids work their way up through the program. I get to see them mature and grow more than other districts’ band directors.”
Originally from La Porte, David has been all around the Midwest, earning his graduate degree from the University of Louisville, and having taught in Edwardsburg. His family members’ vast history of teaching encouraged him to pursue the same field. “My mom, grandma, and great-grandma were all teachers. I can even trace all the way back to an ancestor teaching in a one-room schoolhouse.”
Growing up in a large family, David was encouraged to pursue music, and played the clarinet passed down from his older brother when he was in sixth grade. Now, he works to support and encourage kids like him to take advantage of the opportunities he believes music can provide.
The past four years have been led by four different band directors at Elkhart Central. David is determined to bring a sense of stability to the program.
Though relatively new to Elkhart, he has already recognized and learned to appreciate the community, saying it feels like a small town to him. His wife, a music teacher within Penn schools, 17 month old daughter, dog, and two cats make up David’s family.
“I appreciate and enjoy the diversity within the community. I especially appreciate the unity we find in each other here. The kids and families have been great to work with.”
Through all of his duties and work, David remains focused not only on improving the abilities and techniques of his students, but also on providing a space for them to grow and thrive, and to learn of the true potential each of them holds.
“My focus is on providing opportunities to empower young adults and to help them realize their potential to do awesome things. I hope that students come away with a positive, life-changing experience and that whatever they do, they take an instrument with them.”
David is currently reading: Terra by fellow Elkhart Central teacher, English Department Chair, Tracy Korn, the second book in her young adult series The Elements Series. The third book in her series, Aer, is set to be released September 16 of this year.