Ruth Livengood, Brandywine Middle/High School

Educators are perhaps the greatest population of unsung heroes in Berrien and Cass County. This school year, Leader Publications will publish a weekly spotlight featuring teachers throughout the district, giving the community a chance to get to know the hard-working individuals shaping their children’s lives. Throughout the next school year, their answers will be published in the newspaper that serves each school district.

Name: Ruth Livengood

School: Brandywine Middle and High School, and Brandywine Elementary School

Grade(s)/subject(s) taught: 5th Grade General Music, 6th-12th Grade Band and HS Jazz Band

Ruth Livengood

Where did you attend college? Western Michigan University.

How many years have you been teaching? How many years have you been with your current school? I have taught nine and a half years, and have been at Brandywine for six years.

Why did you decide to become a teacher? Early on, I knew that playing music was something I was extraordinarily good at, but also something that brought me great joy. I wanted to pass that gift of music on to others, and also be immersed in music for the rest of my life. 

Outside of school, what do you enjoy doing for fun? Spending time with my family, studying history, traveling, and playing music.

What is one thing your students may not know about you? I’m a Ravenclaw.

Who is your favorite fictional character and why? Anne Shirley (Anne of Green Gables.) She never let obstacles get in her way and wouldn’t let others tell her what she could and could not do.

When you were a student in the grade you teach, what were your favorite hobbies? Drawing art, playing music, and playing softball.

How would your co-workers describe your teaching style and personality? Student-centered, friendly, a perfectionist, and driven.

Who is your biggest role model and why? Jesus was the perfect example and I aspire daily to be like him.

How has education changed in the last 10 years? The state is much more involved in education than it used to be, and students have many more educational options than they ever did before.

What is your best advice to parents to help their child continue growing academically? Get involved, and meet the teachers who teach your students! If a student doesn’t get a quality education, it will negatively affect the rest of their life, and it is one of the most important responsibilities a parent has: to get involved in their child’s education.

If my students learn one thing this year, I hope it is… That the same boiling water that softens the potato hardens the egg. It’s not about one’s circumstances, but about what one is made out of.

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