Gina Wych to chair Downers Grove North High School fine arts department

She succeeds Brayer Teague, who retires at end of school year

Gina Wych - Downers Grove District 99

The Downers Grove District 99 School Board approved the hiring of Gina Wych to serve as the next fine arts department chair at Downers Grove North High School, effective July 1. Wych will succeed Brayer Teague, who has served in the role since 1993 and will retire at the end of this school year, according to a news release.

Wych serves as a music teacher at Minooka Community High School District 111, where she teaches four concert bands, as well as the marching band and jazz band. She has worked at District 111 since 2008 and has guided the band to more than double in size during her tenure. Under her direction, the school’s wind ensemble was selected as the grand champion at the Midwest Music Festival in 2020. In addition to directing, Wych teaches general music classes, including guitar, music technology, piano, music production and dual-credit American music history.

“Gina has the perfect mix of experience, education and enthusiasm to become the next outstanding leader of our fine arts department,” North High Principal Courtney DeMent said in the release. “We’re confident that she will continue to ensure a high level of excellence within our fine arts program.”

Wych holds both a master’s degree and bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as well as a master’s degree in teacher leadership from Concordia University Chicago. She was a student teacher at North High in the fall of 2007.

“I have enjoyed working directly with Gina on the Illinois Music Education Association Board of Directors and have the utmost respect for her leadership and approach to education,” Teague said in the release. “I am thrilled that she will be joining the fine arts team at North High and know she will be an incredible advocate for the important role the arts play in the fabric of our community.”

Wych serves on the Illinois Music Education Association executive board as junior/senior general music division president, which allows her to support students and teachers throughout the state in engaging with, initiating and improving general music access and programming. Wych also coordinates the Illinois All State Music Composition Contest, a nationally admired program that aims to foster and recognize outstanding student music composition.

“My student teaching here 15 years ago was an experience that introduced me firsthand to the high-quality, collaborative learning community that exists throughout the school and district,” Wych said in the release. “District 99 is known for its commitment to the arts, and I look forward to amplifying that commitment in a way that truly serves DGN students, staff and community.”

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