Matthew Loeb will teach orchestra next year at both Riverside-Brookfield High School and in Riverside Elementary School District 96 after both school boards unanimously approved an intergovernmental agreement for the unusual job-sharing position.
Loeb will teach half time at RBHS and have a 0.3 full time equivalent position in District 96 teaching beginning orchestra to fifth-graders and spending one morning a week teaching at L.J. Hauser Junior High School.
He just completed his first year teaching at RBHS and received rave reviews from teachers and parents. But this spring, despite protests from many orchestra students and parents, his position at RBHS was reduced to half time due to reduced enrollment in music classes.
When District 96 Superintendent Martha Ryan-Toye read about the situation, she realized that District 96 needed a part-time orchestra teacher next year and reached out to District 208 Superintendent Kevin Skinkis to see if they could work out a job sharing agreement.
Loeb will teach for two hours in each morning in District 96 before heading over to RBHS to teach high school students in the afternoon. On Monday through Thursday Loeb will work will fifth-graders at the district’s elementary schools and on Friday mornings he will co-teach Hauser orchestra students with Andrea Ferguson.
“We’re really excited to have Matthew joining our music department,” said Angela Dolezal, the director of teaching and learning for District 96. “We are looking forward to him working with our incoming fifth-graders to this orchestra program and then the work he’ll do at the junior high with Andrea Ferguson.”
Dolezal said Loeb will be able to work with students from the time that they are learning an instrument as fifth-graders through their high school years.
“We’re just excited about the possibilities that provides for us to be able to better align with RB’s orchestra program, and to work on continuing to build the orchestra program from our fifth-graders through the high school,” Dolezal said.
Loeb will get his salary from RBHS, but District 96 will reimburse the high school for the equivalent of a 0.3 FTE salary on the District 96 pay schedule plus an administrative fee of $6,008. Loeb will be classified as a RBHS employee.
Loeb’s colleagues in the music department at RBHS are happy he’ll return for another year and get to teach future RBHS students. They had feared that Loeb would leave RBHS for a full-time teaching job elsewhere.
“We’re all excited for what this will mean for the orchestra program in these districts,” said RBHS music teacher James Baum in an email.
District 96 is the only feeder district to RBHS that has an orchestra program.
In addition to teaching Loeb, a talented pianist, works as the associate music director at the Hinsdale United Methodist Church, where he directs the children’s music ministry, the worship band and serves as the church’s audiovisual specialist for worship services and event logistics.
Loeb also directs the United Methodist Church of Hinsdale Community Jazz Ensemble and is the piano collaborator for the Cantores Community Choir of Downers Grove.
Before coming to RBHS last year, he taught at Montini Catholic High School and performed as an onboard musician for Carnival Cruise Lines. Loeb has a master’s degree in music education from DePaul University and earned his undergraduate degree in music from Northern Illinois University.