Ms. Nichols taught my 8th grade advanced band course. Instead of simply handing us a few pieces of music to rehearse over and over for a performance, she went above and beyond. Her class was about more than playing instruments; she taught us music theory and history as well. She took our interests and skills into account when making music selections. As middle schoolers, we loved the autonomy of helping choose the pieces we played for performance. As I went on to play in high school marching and concert bands, I took with me a solid knowledge base and fantastic passion for music that I learned from Ms. Nichols.
From the years 2004-2007 I attended Belleview Middle School, in Belleview Florida. During my time there I became fortunate enough to become a pupil of Mrs. Nichols-Keaton. I was a member in the band she so elegantly conducted. Many things stand out to me from my time as her student, however the most memorable seem to advance outside of the classroom. Looking back, I see the patience she had to deal with the likes of adolescent teenagers. I also have come to applaud the fact that she herself has become fluent in so many forms of music, and has the knowledge to bestow her gift among many young minds. Mrs. Nichols as I became to know her was a huge part of my life. She taught us life lessons regarding unity and respect. She filled voids as a companion and family member to some of those who needed her. It is very safe to say her connection with her students did not end at the classroom door. I, to this day, still hold many of her values near and dear to my heart. It excites me that she is getting back to doing what she does best, teaching music and changing lives. I truly envy anyone who gets to work with Mrs. Nichols. She is a true gift to not only the music room, but to this world.
Sincerely, Zachary T. McClintock
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