We are grateful to have a diverse community of students, staff and families from around the world. Each member of our community brings their own background and story that enriches the ASH experience. Our ASH Voices series zooms in on our community as we learn more about who we are in our roles at ASH and life outside of school.
Today’s profile features our middle school vocal music teacher, Mr. Truby, who hails from Wisconsin and has been a member of the ASH community for the past two years. In addition to teaching his five middle school choir classes, Mr. Truby is involved in a number of co-curricular activities, including coaching the middle school swim and high school volleyball teams. He is also a team facilitator for the middle school student ambassadors program. What commitment to the community! Mr. Truby is also an Ed.D. student at Bethel University studying Educational Leadership and Administration.
Before coming to the Netherlands and to ASH, Mr. Truby was a secondary music teacher at the International School of Riga in Latvia. Prior to working in Riga, he was a graduate assistant studying Choral Conducting at Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, New Jersey. While at Westminster, Mr. Truby was fortunate to perform with the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Berliner Philharmoniker. These incredible opportunities were the result of a great deal of hard work and a true passion for music.
We asked Mr. Truby some questions about his life at ASH and how he has been adapting throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
How long have you been at ASH and what does the #ASHexperience mean to you?
This is my second year at ASH. To me, #ASHexperience means community. In many ways, ASH looks and feels like a neighborhood school. I love how, under normal circumstances, students at ASH remain on campus well into the evening working on projects, participating in sports, rehearsing for musicals, and taking private music lessons. I have always seen that as a sign of a healthy school community.
What are your passions? Either in teaching at the school or outside of work?
I have been fortunate to grow up in communities that have placed a strong emphasis on community singing. Needless to say, singing in and conducting choirs is a passion of mine in and outside of school. Outside of singing, I enjoy reading up on the newest educational thinking, kayaking the canals of Leiden, and getting out into nature. In the summer, you will find me in the Northwoods of the GREAT state of Wisconsin, grilling out every evening and waterskiing just before the sun goes down.
How has this year impacted you and what are the lessons you have learned that you will be taking forward in your teaching at ASH?
To quote Joe Sanfelippo, Superintendent of Schools in Fall Creek, Wisconsin, “there has never been a better time to prove to parents that we love kids and like content.” This pandemic has been a major reminder to me of just how lucky I am to get to work with such amazing kids. I will never forget saying goodbye to Gold Choir in December before the lockdown began, realizing in the middle of saying goodbye that I was not sure when I was going to see them next. Needless to say, I got a little choked up! Moving forward, I intend to be grateful for each day that we work and learn in person. It is my hope that every child leaves my class with a smile on their face.
If you could give our students at ASH one piece of advice what would it be?
Try new things! When I was in third grade, growing up in the GREAT state of Wisconsin, we were instructed to go outside to recess when it was -10 degrees celsius outside. Fed up with the cold, I looked around for any program running so I would not have to go outside. Sure enough, the only way I could stay inside was if I joined the boys’ choir practice. I fell in love with it right then and there!
If you weren't working at ASH, what would you be doing?
I’m not sure! Maybe something to do with boats? I really like boats.