A Delaware City Schools alum will return to the district this upcoming school year to become the new Hayes High School orchestra director.
Keegan Lammers’ journey to the position began when she started playing the viola through the Schultz Orchestra Program. Lammers said she participated in the orchestra throughout her time in the school district and even spent her senior year shadowing former orchestra Director Stacy Lemke.
“My senior year I shadowed Mrs. Lemke, and I got to teach with her a lot,” Lammers said. “We were very, very close.”
Lammers graduated from Hayes in 2018 and recently graduated from DePauw University earlier this year with her degree in music education. She was hired to the orchestra director position by the Delaware City Schools Board of Education in May. Lammers said she knew Lemke would be retiring around when she graduated and said the position was in the back of her mind.
“To know she was going to retire the year I was graduating was nerve-wracking but exciting, and I’m just really thankful that everything worked out so this could happen,” Lammers said. “It doesn’t totally feel real yet. It was so exciting. I’m really excited to be coming back to where I grew up.”
Lammers said she is excited to return to Hayes and work with her former teachers Dr. Dara Gillis and Abigail Wimbiscus Black, and she added she was thrilled when Hayes Principal Dr. Ric Stranges called her with the job offer.
“It was so exciting to hear it from someone who I look up to so much and who was my principal,” Lammers said. “I’m so excited for the colleagues I get to work with. It’s going to be a great team, and I’m so excited to see where we go. … It’s very exciting to be coming back for students that I know and taking over for someone that is such a huge inspiration for me and getting to continue all the fantastic work that she’s been doing.”
Lammers added she is excited to be part of the Delaware community again.
“Going away from Delaware made me realize how much Delaware supports the arts and supports the school system,” Lammers said. “I’m really excited to get to come back to the community that I grew up in and ingratiate the school music program into the community. That’s really important to me, and I felt that growing up. I’m excited to get to give that experience to other students as well.”
Lammers said she and the Hayes Players will have a busy start to the year as they visit the elementary schools before working on their traditional concerts and competitions.
“(We) get to show the fifth graders what orchestra is all about,” Lammers said. “That’s how we get students involved in the orchestra program. The school year is going to start super fast for the orchestra and myself, and I’m really excited about that. We’ll have concerts in October and December and then contest season rolls around.”
Lammers said she’s looking forward to giving the students in the orchestras many chances to show off their talents.
“I’m excited to give students as many performance opportunities as possible, especially coming off these last few years,” Lammers said.