Being chosen as the new band director at South Laurel High School is a homecoming of sorts for Sheldon House.
The London native has just stepped to the helm of the band program, leaving the same position he has held at Pineville Independent School for the past 13 years.
House has a long history with music, beginning playing piano and guitar when he was just seven years old. He joined band in the fifth grade and decided by the time he graduated high school that he wanted to pursue a career with music. He continued that interest into college, earning his degree in Music Education from Cumberland College. He then earned his Master's degree from Eastern Kentucky University and will finish up his degree in Supervisor of Instruction in August from the University of Kentucky.
House met his wife Debra during college and the couple has three children - two of which attend SLHS. Their oldest, a daughter, is also a SLHS band alumni who is currently attending the Savannah College of Art and Design with her career choice of digital animation.
"She wants to work for Pixar," House said.
He cherishes his time at Pineville, which was a continuation of his earlier career in teaching in the Laurel County school system.
"I taught in Laurel County for 13 years, then I went to Pineville and taught there for 13 years," he said. "Now I'm back and my career has come full circle."
Although he is nearing the years that he could retire, House has no interest in doing so.
"I always tell my students to find something they like to do and they'll never have to work a day in their life," he said. "If you do something you love, it's not a job."
Returning to his hometown to teach is something that House felt was a good move for him.
"This is home," he said. "I make it my permanent home and I'm always fond of seeing the success of the county, especially the band programs. When I applied for the job here, I thought I'd be a good fit."
That fit includes preparing for band camp this week and working on this year's marching show. He said South Laurel Middle School band director Michael Wooley and now retired SLHS band director Mark Sizemore "already had most things in place."
"The third movement of the show is not yet complete," he said. "But I'm familiar with the design team and worked with them at Pineville."
He also brings a spectrum of experience and affiliation with band programs both in and out of the state. He has served as band chair of District 10 of the Kentucky Music Educators Association (KMEA) and was recognized as Teacher of the Year by KMEA in 2007. He has also served on the board of directors of the East Tennessee Performing Arts Association from 2017 to 2018 and was the Wind Chair with the same organization.
He has goals for every aspect of the SLHS band program - with the ultimate goal to educate his students.
"My theory is that whatever we do is for the benefits of the students," he said. "I think it is an honor and a privilege to continue the success of this program and I want to see it progress to even higher levels."