WEEPING WATER – Weeping Water Superintendent Dr. Ken Heinz has been a major supporter of music programs during his tenure in Cass County.
He was honored for helping Weeping Water musicians with a major state award this month.
Heinz received the Nebraska Music Education Association Outstanding Administrator Award at the NMEA Banquet. The event took place Nov. 15 at the Cornhusker Hotel in Lincoln.
Weeping Water music teachers Kim Hammer and Kevin White both said Heinz had displayed his support for musical activities in many ways. Hammer leads the school’s vocal music program and White directs the instrumental music program. They contributed insights to a nomination form for Heinz for the NMEA award.
“You will see Dr. Heinz at almost every middle school and high school concert and the all-school musical,” their nomination form stated. “He has attended the ECNC honor choirs and several other honor choirs in the years since coming to Weeping Water.
“He has also traveled to every district music contest that Weeping Water has participated in since he became the superintendent at Weeping Water. He encourages students to be involved in the music program, and takes the time to encourage them to push themselves to see how far music will take them.”
Hammer and White said Heinz helped the music programs grow by making sure their facilities were part of a major bond issue in 2013. That helped students become more enthusiastic about participating in both band and choir. Weeping Water received a separate NMEA award at the Nov. 15 banquet for having 62 percent of high school students involved in musical activities.
“When the bond issue was passed, Dr. Heinz made certain that the music room and performing arts areas were included in the planning process,” the nomination form stated. “What was once a shared room became an instrumental music room equipped with practice rooms and additional storage, while the vocal room is the back half of the stage. The stage had been the original gym in the 1938 building.
“Most recently the stage has had several upgrades: a new curtain replaced the original curtain with a grant from the Berniece Hopper Foundation and the school board voted to pay the remaining balance of the cost.
“In the spring of 2018, replacing the stage lighting became a new project for the school. The lights were installed this fall and were first used at the fall concert on Nov. 2. The music students were very excited to watch the process and realize that they would no longer have to perform in the dark.”
State officials present the NMEA Outstanding Administrator Award to one person in Nebraska each year. The purpose of the honor is to recognize outstanding administrative support for music education. Officials give the award to people who have demonstrated active, ongoing support for balanced music programs within their districts.
Heinz became superintendent at Weeping Water on July 1, 2012. He served as superintendent at both Osceola and Centura before coming to Weeping Water.