After 27 years at Bernardo Yorba Middle School, Rita Watson, Band Director, will retire after this school year.
“This is my 27th year at Bernardo Yorba and my 37th year of teaching music in public schools in California, Texas, and Nebraska,” stated Mrs. Watson.
Mrs. Watson recalled her earliest memories at Bernardo.
“There were only about 12 students in the orchestra and maybe about 670 total in all of the bands. Our marching band uniforms were very old…..the shakos (hats) were very tall and fuzzy white. (If our colors would have been blue, we would have looked like the marching Smurfs!!),” stated Mrs. Watson.
Bernardo’s marching band has had 11 straight years going undefeated in parade competitions, according to Mrs. Watson.
Some musicians from Bernardo are playing professionally and some are now the band and orchestra teachers, according to Mrs. Watson.
During Mrs. Watson 27 years of teaching at BYMS, she has accumulated a number of awards and recognitions. Mrs. Watson’s jazz bands have been selected to play at the State P.T.A. Convention the Distinguished School Award Ceremony, the California Music Educators Convention, and the California League of Middle Schools Conference.
Mrs. Watson’s jazz bands have been selected to play at the State P.T.A. Convention, the Distinguished School Award Ceremony, the California Music Educators’ Convention, and the California League of Middle Schools’ Conference.
Mrs. Watson was awarded the 2009 Outstanding Arts Educator- Secondary Level from the Orange County Arts and Administration Association. In 2010, Mrs. Watson was honored in Sacramento as California League of Middle Schools District 11 Educator of the Year. SCSBOA presented Mrs. Watson with Meritorious Service Awards, the Continuing Service Award, and the Veteran Teacher Award. In 2014, Mrs. Watson was the director of the SCSBOA Jr. High All-Stars.
Mrs. Watson has many plans for activities during her retirement.
“I have a goal of running a marathon, so I hope to put some serious training into that. I have a very tall stack of books that I would like to read. My husband and I hope to travel to some of the places on my “bucket list”……..like Bora Bora!!” stated Mrs. Watson.
In an interview with the Matador Messenger, Mrs. Watson stated what she will miss the most about being the Band Director at Bernardo.
“I will miss the great students in the music program, so much talent and so many fun personalities. I’ll also miss the great parents in our booster organization. I’ve made some close friends that I hope to keep for the rest of my life,” stated Mrs. Watson.
“I will miss making beautiful and exciting music every single day. We are having such a great year in our music department. I’m going to remember these students forever,” stated Mrs. Watson.