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Mr. Sayre says goodbye

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The South High community bids farewell to Mr. Sayre. He will be missed for his positivity, professionalism and reputation as an inspiration to both students and colleagues.
 
Sayre, like his students, is a product of Minneapolis Public Schools, having graduated from Southwest High School. He is also an alum of St. Olaf College and came to South High in 2012, after teaching in Guyana, South America.
 
Sayre's been on faculty at South, in a full-time capacity the past six years, and has nurtured countless student musicians in striving for excellence in music study, music careers, and a lifetime of music appreciation.
 
He departs for Madison, Wisconsin in July. We wish him the absolute best! Below is the letter he shared with students, today.
 
 
Dear Music Families,
 
I hope this note finds you all healthy and in good spirits. Thank you for your continued support of our music community at South. We are truly fortunate to do so many incredible things with such amazing students. This afternoon, we had an all-band/jazz online meet and looked at pictures from earlier this year, regaled some fun memories, and I shared some bittersweet news with the students: next year, I will not be returning to South, but will be pursuing a Masters of Music in Wind Band Conducting at UW-Madison. 
 
This is not quite how I pictured delivering this news when I made this choice back in March. In many ways, I empathize with our current seniors. Trying to find closure with such an important part our lives, preparing to transition to a new city and community, and trying to enjoy all of the “lasts” that we expected to look so different. I wish we could have had our usual end of year festivities. I wish we could have celebrated the seniors and all of our musicians in person. But most of all, I wish in some way we can all share in some well-deserved closure.
 
I will carry with me great memories and important lessons from our time at South. Homecoming pep bands, pre-concert pump-ups, music office conversations, pit orchestras, music listening contests, swing nights, tours, and so many more. Lessons of patience, the importance of student voice, teamwork, kindness, values of diversity in every sense, and more. Most of all, I will cherish getting to know our students. First-years through seniors, everyone brings such a unique and important voice to our community. Juniors, I so wish I could share in your senior year next year, but I trust that you will help lead our bands with kindness and a commitment to excellence. 
 
Music will continue to be an amazing opportunity at South. While we cannot interview and hire yet, we are excited to bring a new voice into our community that will continue to serve and strengthen our music program. I am confident you will offer our next band director the same kindness, enthusiasm, and grace that you gifted me. I am very thankful to have taught alongside four other amazing music educators: Sophia Butler, Laurie Meyers, Sarah Minette, and Lorie Hippen (retired), as well as working with an outstanding performing arts team: David Harty, Nancy Nair, and Stephen Oberhardt. 
 
I am very thankful for our time together and wish you all the very best. Please stay in touch. I will be excited to hear of the great things you all continue to do and will be forever proud to have been a part of it.
 
Very Sincerely,
 
Eric Sayre