Choir teacher inspires students one song at a time

Posted at 10:07 PM, Nov 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-29 00:07:07-05
Standing loudly and proudly on the steps of the statehouse is the Andrus 4th and 5th grade honor choir.
While the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child, apparently it only takes one man to lead this group of 124 of them, Steve Jones.
"This choir is one of the highlights of my job," said Jones. "I absolutely love it."
"When I graduated 5th grade I cried because I wouldn't have Mr. Jones anymore," said former choir member Halley Hoellwarth.
Mr. Jones started teaching at Andrus 13 years ago, and when he did he decided to start a choir.
Now, more than a decade later, so many kids want to be in the choir he has to turn some away.
"I'm very particular about behavior, I mean I'm listening for great voices,  but I'm really particular about behavior. Can I watch 124 kids at the same time? No,  so I have to have kids that I know will do the right thing even if I am not watching," said Jones.
Watching 124 kids can't be easy, and if you are thinking what I thought, he must get paid a lot, you're wrong. Mr. Jones doesn't get paid at all for the hours each he put into the choir.
"I just really love seeing kids achieve something great," said Jones.
While he said he hopes eventually they will add the choir to his teaching load, even if they don't, he doesn't plan on giving up on it anytime soon.
"I keep doing it because I see what great things it does for kids and how good it is for their self-esteem to accomplish something great," said Jones. 
"I think he should get paid. I think he is great that he does this by himself even though he doesn't get paid and I'm glad that he does it because it's really fun," said Lily Hoellwarth, a current choir member.