Over the last two years, Mr. Hernandez has connected with students and their families and worked tirelessly to not only grow their skill as musicians but also their love for music and their instruments. He dedicates countless hours virtually every night of the week and often on weekends to ensure the school's orchestra program is of the highest quality. Extraordinarily, he receives no compensation for the time he dedicates beyond normal school hours. Mr. Hernandez is essentially donating his time and energy to the students and to the school. Not only that, as a sub he only earns about $90 per day for the hours he works during the normal school day.
While we cannot be certain when or if the current orchestra director will return, it is because she is still technically in charge of the program that Mr. Hernandez can continue to serve as her replacement. If for some reason the position became vacant, the school would not be able to hire Mr. Hernandez permanently?
Why not? Though Mr. Hernandez, who also has two daughters, is a trained musician and has excellent teaching instincts which he continues to develop, he has not completed the coursework necessary to be certified as a teacher in Virginia. The catch-22 he faces is that while he truly wants to teach music, especially at the school where he is if the opportunity arises, he cannot afford to pay off a debt obligation (approx $1800) that is barring him from registering for classes at Old Dominion University or the tuition necessary (approx $4000) to complete the handful of requirements he must complete. He does not want to leave the kids or the program at the school, but he is not compensated well enough to allow him to take care of his own future.
Mr. Hernandez has dedicated countless hours to the students, staff, and community of this middle school, essentially volunteering his time to grow and develop the program and the students. It is perhaps time for us to show our appreciation for what he has given us by helping him complete what he needs to ensure he can continue to work with the school's kids and community! I know he will be eternally grateful even as I am certain there is an extraordinary benefit to the school and the young people he teaches.
Please consider providing a donation of at least $10. Of course, any amount more that you are comfortable giving is welcome! Working together, we can all help Mr. Hernandez to achieve his goal as well as ensuring the program and kids at the school will continue to benefit from his passion, skill, and dedication!