Ms. Magno: Recognizing a 10-Year Staff Member

Ms. Magno-Parsons has taught marching band at Liberty since the school opened 10 years ago

Ms.+Magno-Parsons+instructs+the+marching+band+from+the+football+field+pressbox+at+a+morning+practice.+

Ella Quinney

Ms. Magno-Parsons instructs the marching band from the football field pressbox at a morning practice.

Chloe Stenger, Reporter

Sarita Magno-Parsons teaches band at Liberty and Frontier Middle School. She chose to teach band because she has always loved music.

“When I was in high school, being a part of the band gave me a sense of belonging to the school. I’ve always loved music, but being a part of that group really meant something to me. So I wanted to carry that on to other students, and to other people too,” Magno said. “I thought it was a great opportunity to continue doing that for the rest of my life.”

What Magno enjoys most about her job is getting to work with her students all throughout high school and watching them grow in the process.

“I get to be there as a part of their entire upper academic career really watching them grow and learn, not just as musicians but as people too,” Magno said. “We’re a really tight-knit group, and I’m really proud of all our kids.”

Magno was hired at Liberty after her previous principal had told her she was going to be working at the brand new Liberty as well as Frontier.

“I was the band director at Frontier Middle School already teaching grade sixth through eighth. So when we found out Liberty was opening and our principal (Mr. Ragusky) had been hired as the principal, I came into his office and asked him about it and he said he would be hiring me.”

Magno’s first year working at Liberty was very different compared to now. She remarks how there weren’t as many students and how there were no upperclassmen to guide the underclassmen.

Being able to join the high school and middle school has been a great experience. [Magno] is wonderful to work with and I have learned new stuff everyday.”

— Angelete Frein, band co-teacher

“It was much much smaller with just the freshman class. It was a challenge because we didn’t have a lot of students and they didn’t know how to be high schoolers yet, as nobody was there to show them the way. So it was the staff trying to show them what high school was like, how everything worked.”

In reference to how Liberty has changed over the years, she says how there’s a bigger sense of pride and understanding of high school, growth in people and sense of community. A lot more things have become more possible over the growth period.

“We have a whole lot more people, and we have the auditorium as well as the extensions to the middle hallways,” Magno said. “There is much more of a sense of school pride. We have not just grown in number of people but in that sense of community and sense of belonging at Liberty.”

To be able to say she was on Liberty’s original staff and see so many different faces over the years is something Magno feels like she can take pride in.

“It’s pretty cool. Being able to say it is really neat, to be able to say we started this program from the ground up,” she said. “Over the years I have seen a lot of faces. People coming from Frontier to Liberty, some from other places really just all over the place.”

When asked how she’s seen the band change, she said it has grown a lot. More people, uniforms, competition and student leaders have grown.

“The very first band we had was only about 20 freshmen. We didn’t have uniforms, or competitions,” Magno said. “We are now a band of around 80 students doing full competition circuits. We have a lot of awesome student leaders. That was something we had to develop over the years, the first leaders had to be guided on the way and pass that down as a tradition so it could continue on.”

The first time Liberty’s marching band placed in a competition is Magno’s all-time favorite memory at Liberty. She reflects, “How excited the band was to realize the achievement of what it felt like to put in that work and see recognition. To see that pride and joy happen for the first time.”

Angelete Frein is a co-teacher of Magno, helping out with both the Liberty and Frontier marching bands.

“Being able to join the high school and middle school has been a great experience,” Frein said. “[Magno] is wonderful to work with and I have learned new stuff everyday.”