The Albia Community School Board accepted the resignation of Alex Steines as 7th-12th vocal music director and approved a contract for his replacement, Felicity Eward.
Steines came to Albia seven years ago and transformed the vocal music program, turning it into a regular I rated program in Show Choir, Mixed Choir and Concert Choir. Over 100 students participate in the program.
Steines also helped produce outstanding musical theater for the high school drama program along with Suszanne Hollinrake. He and his wife, Allie, an ACHS math teacher, were also volunteer individual and large group speech coaches.
Steines may well be remembered best for bringing the 100-member University of Northern Iowa Men’s Glee Club to perform in the King Opera House in February of 2018 and turning around and bringing Simon Estes to perform in concert at the high school the next fall.
There is an added sadness to Steines leaving with the school shut down for the coronavirus. This year’s concert choir and mixed choir were both nearing completion of their rehearsal schedule to compete in state competitions. Those competitions were cancelled. So too was the Spring Swing Show for the first time since its inception in the early 1970s, created by Paul Peterson and Leonard Bonker featuring the Show Choir and David Perry’s Jazz Band.
The Steines’ intend to stay in the community where Allie will continue to teach math. Alex intends to continue his contract with the school as a bus driver.
Eward is finishing her second year at Eastern Allamakee County (Kee Lansing) in northeast Iowa. She is a 2018 Simpson College graduate in music education with a minor in theatre arts. She expects to receive her master’s by summer’s end.
She taught Pre-K through 6th grade general music, was 7th-8th choir director and music appreciation teacher and 9-12 choral direction at Eastern Allamakee.
Eward served as an artistic department intern for the Des Moines Metro Opera the summer of 2016. She also spent a semester abroad at Rochampton University in London, England.
A committee of six, students, parents, Dave Perry and administration interviewed three candidates for the job.
The board also approved contracts for Melissa Hall, elementary special education, Shelby Courtney, sixth grade teacher and coach.