By Rebecca Oppenheim
Editor’s Note: The following article appeared in The Scroll, Winter 2013. The Scroll is the official publication of the Illinois American String Teachers Association.
“Ms. Hendrix is the reason I am still playing violin. She has made me a better player and taught me a lot more than any other teacher and she was the highlight of my freshman year,” stated Mia Temkin (Niles North High School class of 2015). Pam Hendrix is an outstanding music educator who has been teaching at Niles North High School for 22 years.
When I was placed at Niles North High School in 2011 as Pam’s student teacher she immediately took me under her wing. She has a warmth and enthusiasm about her that is contagious to anyone who comes in contact with her. She has a wonderful way of making every student feel important and loved. I remember Pam standing by the door and greeting every individual student who entered the classroom. She holds her students to a high standard and pushes them to always strive for excellence.
“The thing about Ms. Hendrix is that it is not only about the music but about her students as well. She always takes every possible step to help her students in any way she can.”Jazib Gohar (Niles North High School Class of 2014). Pam is such an incredible musician and educator. The students and teachers of Niles North High School adore her.
“Not only is Pam Hendrix a great director and music educator, but she is an incredible person with a kind heart. Her students look at her not only as a teacher and mentor, but as an extra parent, or in some cases their main parent. She is kind, sensitive and always is willing to step up and help her students, colleagues, school and community, especially when it involves educational experiences to further students’ experiences and knowledge.” Daniel Gregerman (Choral Director Niles North High School)
“Pam is one of the most inspirational teachers I have ever had the pleasure of working with. I have seen her not only train students to be better musicians, I have seen her train them to become mature and caring young adults. She has certainly made her mark in string education and has led the charge of making music education a valued aspect of a student’s life.
Several years ago as I was a new teacher in the Chicago area, I was looking to start a string program in northern Lake County, where none existed. The person everyone told me I had to observe was Pam Hendrix. She had created and developed a beginning strings program that brought new meaning to beginning an instrument at the high school level. Through her dedication and recognition for this need, I was able to begin one at the high school level in my own school district.
Pam Hendrix has accomplished many things with her students, both at the high school level and beyond. She has trained “the best of the best” student teachers to become extremely accomplished music educator’s themselves. I value her as a colleague, fellow music educator and friend. Congratulations to Pam Hendrix on her retirement and on her years of stellar contribution to music education.” (Teralyn Keith, Department Chair for Fine Arts, Maine South High School).
Pam is a star in the world of orchestra teaching and her presence in the classroom will truly be missed. During retirement she plans to help find forever homes for the greyhounds and work with her therapy dog, Lily, helping autistic children. Thank you Pam for all of the lives you have touched over the years. You are a gift to the teaching profession.