New Director Brings Fresh Zeal


Anna Adams, Staff Writer/ Editor

As our school expands, new faculty fill in vacant spaces. This year, former Harlandale band director Juan Rodriguez will be taking over as the new Fine Arts Director and Head Band Director at Medina Valley. 

Originally from Pleasanton, Rodriguez has been “all over” the state and is currently content living in the San Antonio region with his bulldog and mixed labrador. Since sixth grade, he has been involved in band. In high school, he was quite busy with football, one-act play, theater, band, NHS, jazz band, UIL academics, choir, and student council. After graduating from Pleasanton High School in 2001, he went on to study music at St. Mary’s University and graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. Rodriguez returned to his studies in 2019 as a graduate student at the University of North Texas and earned a master’s degree in Educational Leadership this past May. He has spent a total of 17 years teaching band at middle schools and high schools, with the past four years spent at Harlandale High School.

“I love to travel in my free time… I have been limited these past couple of years due to COVID, so I am excited about the idea of traveling again,” Rodriguez said, who typically takes one national and one international trip per year. His other interests include musicals, Harry Potter, video gaming, and cooking.

“My favorite grade level to teach is high school,” Rodriguez said, but throughout his career, he has also had fun teaching beginner bands. “You start the year, and they don’t know much about music, and at the end of the year, they’re performing music. It is incredible to see the growth in one year!” Music appeals to him because it is challenging and allows him to witness his students’ improvement as they continue practicing each year. Equipped with the open-ended mindset that education never ends, Rodriguez aspires to introduce more variety to his students and to help our band be recognized for excellent performance.

“We work in a continual circle – concert season prepares us for marching season, and marching season prepares us for concert. It is the great circle of band life,” Rodriguez said, who loves to see what hard work can lead to. Since sixth grade, his passion for band has fueled his career; now, he hopes to share some of that passion to “re-energize what people think of this program and department.” In return for his enthusiasm, let’s fuel his passion for Medina Valley! Go, Panthers!