Jason Childers, Director of Bands
Jason Childers is currently in his 17th year at South Caldwell High School serving as Director of Bands. A native of Concord, North Carolina and graduate of Concord High School, he earned his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Appalachian State University in 1999. Childers continued at ASU receiving his Masters of Music Education with a concentration in Instrumental Conducting in 2000.
Childers has served on various teams and committees while at South Caldwell, and was ‘teacher of the year’ for the 2014-2015 school year. He currently serves as Department Chair for the Fine Arts at South Caldwell. His ensembles consistently receive superior ratings and reviews at adjudicated events, and other performances. His bands have performed nationally and internationally, and have featured numerous guest artists at concerts, clinics, and festivals. His greatest source of pride has been the number of his high school students that have continued in the field of music education and become successful musicians, conductors, and educators in their own right.
Childers holds professional memberships in the National Association for Music Education, the North Carolina Music Educators Association, the North Carolina Bandmasters Association, and the American School Band Directors Association. He served the Northwest District Bandmasters Association as Middle School Music Performance Adjudicator Chair, High School Representative, and currently serves as the Mentor Committee chairperson. He recently was recognized with the "Award of Excellence" by the Northwest District Bandmasters Association, an annual honor voted on by peers. Locally, Childers holds membership in the Community Music club of Caldwell County.
Mr. Childers is an active clinician, adjudicator, and composer for concert and marching bands across North Carolina. Jason resides in Granite Falls, North Carolina and has been happily married to his wife Missy for over ten years. They are proud parents of two beautiful children: daughter Madison, and son Maddox, who you'll see at nearly all band events throughout the year.
Jonathan Stafford, Associate Director of Bands
Jonathan Stafford is currently in his 8th year teaching and his second year at South Caldwell High School, serving as Associate Director of Bands. Mr. Stafford is a native of Alexander County and is a 2004 graduate of Alexander Central High School. He then received his Bachelor's of Music in Instrumental Music Education at Lenoir-Rhyne University. Mr. Stafford began his teaching career at West Caldwell High School, where he taught for 6 years.
Mr. Stafford enjoys teaching a private studio of Saxophone students as well as other woodwind students. He has enjoyed performing Saxophone locally with the Lenoir-Rhyne University Wind Symphony, the Lenoir-Rhyne University Jazz Ensemble, the Hickory Jazz Orchestra, and the Asheville Jazz Orchestra. Mr. Stafford is a member of the North Carolina Bandmasters Association, the National Association for Music Education, the North Carolina Music Educators Association and the Community Music Club of Caldwell County.
Mr. Stafford resides in Caldwell County with his two wonderful children, Ellie and Nate. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family as well as playing a little golf.
Leah Massey, Hudson Middle School Director of Bands
Leah Massey is in her twelth year of teaching and has been the band director at Hudson Middle School in Hudson, NC since 2008. She is a native of Caldwell County and a graduate of Hibriten High School. Massey attended Appalachian State University, earning her Bachelor of Music in Music Education degree in 2005. She began her career at West Alexander Middle School, teaching there for three years.
While at WAMS, she participated in the University of North Carolina at Greensboro summer graduate school program and earned her Master of Music in Music Education degree. Massey received her National Board Certification in 2010. She has served as the MPA Chairperson for the Northwest District the past four years and also serves on her school PBIS Team. She has had the honor of being the guest clinician of several All-County ensembles. Massey was named Teacher of the Year in 2007-08 and in 2012-13. She is a member of NCMEA, NAfME, ASBDA, and the Community Music Club of Caldwell County.
Leah enjoys spending time with her husband, Chris, and family as well as volunteering at church. She LOVES teaching middle school band and watching her students flourish in the South Caldwell High School band program!
Patrick Haymore, Granite Falls Middle School Director of Bands
Patrick Haymore is the Director of Bands at Granite Falls Middle School. He is a 2003 graduate of Appalachian State University and has a Bachelor of Music in Music Education. He is currently in his fourteenth year of teaching and his first year at Granite Falls. He started in band in the sixth grade at Central Middle School in Dobson, North Carolina. After a few months on trumpet, he quickly switched to tuba and never looked back!
Mr. Haymore is an avid runner and cyclist. He fell in love with distance running in high school and have kept it up over the years. This is his first year as GFMS girls' track and field coach.
Mr. Haymore's Classroom Mission - The mission of the Granite Falls Middle School Band Program is to provide students with an enriching musical experience: to facilitate students in developing a level of musical growth that will enhance their quality of life and enable them to become lifelong advocates of music.
Rich McKercher, Visual Designer
Rich McKercher has been writing drill, developing the visual design package, marching instructor and actively helping the bands of South Caldwell for 15 years. A 1996 graduate of Appalachian State University, Rich taught mathematics at Polk Central School in Mills Spring, NC and Graham Middle School in Graham, NC before coming to South Caldwell High School in 2002. Teaching courses from Pre-Algebra through Advanced Functions and Discrete Math, he spends most of his time teaching in the Freshman Academy where he enjoys working with a team of teachers to help 9th graders transition into the social, extra-curricular, and rigors of high school academics. He earned his National Board Certification in Secondary Mathematics in 2010.
Rich marched with the Central Cabarrus High School band from 1988 - 1992, competing in Bands of America regional and national competitions and placing into finals at both levels. During that time, he was a part of the 1990 charter group of Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps. He also marched with Appalachian State University in 1992 and was a member of the trombone choir.
Rich has been a coach at all levels of youth sports from recreational baseball and basketball to high school softball. He is also an Assistant Scoutmaster with Boy Scout Troop 263. He currently enjoys running, hiking, boating and camping with his family. Living in Hudson, NC, he has been married 20 years to his high school sweetheart, Becky. Together they have an amazing son, Richie, who is also in the South Caldwell High School Band.
Tiffany Frye, Choreographer & Instructor
Tiffany Frye is excited to join the staff of the SCHS band as Guard Choreographer and Instructor. She is a 2016 graduate of East Lincoln High School and a native of Stanley, NC. During her time at East Lincoln, Tiffany played clarinet and participated in the Winter Guard program for three years.
Tiffany is currently attending Lenoir-Rhyne University to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. She was also a member of the newly reformed “Spirit of LR” Marching Band, and served as one of their Color Guard captains.
Caitlyn Council, Guard Instructor
Caitlyn Council is joining the South Caldwell High School band staff as a Guard Instructor. She is a 2006 graduate of SCHS and excited to be back to a program she loves. Caitlyn is an Alumni of Appalachian State University. She is currently teaching 4th grade at Granite Falls Elementary School. Caitlyn was voted "Best of Caldwell" for teaching in 2018. Caitlyn enjoys spending time with her friends and family. She also enjoys going on mission trips and serving in our community.
Ian Chapman, Percussion Instructor
Ian Chapman enters his 4th year as the marching percussion instructor for the South Caldwell band. Ian has over 10 years of experience in concert and marching percussion including his time as a student in the South Caldwell High School band program where he was a four-year member of the drumline has well as a member of the winter percussion and symphonic band ensembles. After graduating in 2013, Ian attended the University of South Carolina where he was a member of the university concert ensemble as well as the University of South Carolina “Mighty Sound of the Southeast” drumline.
Ian is currently attending Lenoir-Rhyne University as a business management major and will be a senior for the 2017-2018 school year. Ian is excited for the upcoming marching season and looks forward to another great show!
Grant Newton, Percussion & Electronic Sound Technician
Grant Newton joined the South Caldwell Band Staff in 2014 as a visual technician, which he held for two years, last year he advanced to his current role as the Percussion & Electronic Sound Technician. Grant performs numerous other tasks for the band, such as the Bus & Trailer Driver Coordinator, Percussion Technical Assistant, Band EMT, and is the Director’s Right Hand Man. A 2012 South Caldwell Graduate, Grant is currently in the process of earning a bachelor degree in Fire Protection. While in the band, Grant played the euphonium and trumpet, and was instrumental in creation of a student led 'facility team'.
Outside of band, Grant and his beautiful wife Julie are celebrating a magnificent wedding held just this past May. Grant is a career Firefighter/EMT at the City of Newton Fire Department in Catawba County, a volunteer Firefighter/EMT at Sawmills Fire & Rescue and a Lieutenant at Lovelady Rescue Squad, both in Caldwell County. In 2014, he also became a Minister through the Universal Life Church, thus began the nickname “Father Newton”.
William Fisher, Visual & Wind Tech
William Fisher is excited to have just finished his first season on staff with the Spartan Regiment as a Wind and Visual Technician. William is a native of Granite Falls, NC and is a 2017 graduate and band alumnus of South Caldwell High School. William held positions as Tuba Section Leader, Low Brass Captain, and Band President during his time at South Caldwell.
Currently, William is pursuing a degree in Music Education at Lenoir-Rhyne University, where he participates in the Wind Symphony, Brass Ensemble, the Spirit of LR Marching Band, and the A Capella Choir. Go Bears!
Maura Schaffer-Greer, Percussion Instructor
Maura Schaffer-Greer is excited to join the Spartan Regiment as Percussion Instructor. She graduated in 2016 from Appalachian State University with her bachelors degree in History/Secondary Education and a minor in Leadership Studies. She has been working in the Social Studies department of South Caldwell High School since the fall of 2016, with her primary subjects being American History and Civics.
Maura began her formal percussion training in 2003 while in elementary school in Pennsylvania. She was a member of the percussion section and percussion section leader in Delaware Valley School District. In addition to teaching social studies and instructing the percussion section, Maura is also a coach of the Spartan Men's and Women's Swim Teams at South Caldwell. She enjoys reading, hiking, snowboarding, and traveling with her husband, Scotty, a former member of the Marching Mountaineer Marching Band. She looks forward to seeing the marching band program and its members learn and grow this school year.