Cameron Gallahue jokingly pleads guilty to being both a “band geek” and a “computer geek” at Greenbrier High School, but what music teacher Michael Katterjohn sees in the school’s STAR student is a leader.
“He was just an asset to me this year,” said Katterjohn, chosen by Gallahue as his STAR teacher. “He did a really great job of working with his peers and leading by example” as high brass captain for the marching band.
Gallahue, scoring a school-high 2140 on the SAT to earn the STAR honors at Greenbrier, plans to study computer science at Georgia Tech and soon will present his senior project demonstrating the computer game he designed.
“I enjoyed that so much that I decided that was definitely something I want to do with my life,” Gallahue said.
Yet despite a strong science and math background, he found his top teacher in music.
“A lot of what he teaches goes so far beyond the classroom,” Gallahue said. “Most of what he teaches has nothing to do with music, it’s really all about the relationships you make with other people. That’s why we have a big band family, not just a few band classes and marching band.”
Katterjohn insists music education doesn’t run counter to academics, but instead boosts overall education. He noted that of all seven STAR students this year, six are involved in school or church music programs.
“In our profession, the music world, it’s getting less and less important,” he said. “We have to be advocates for our own trade. Every chance we get, we talk about how music affects and enhances what they do in the rest of the academic world.”