Patrick J. Kearney is currently the Facilitator for Teacher Leadership in Johnston, Iowa.  Previously he served for 15 years as the Director of Bands at Johnston High School.   Mr. Kearney has been President of the Iowa Bandmasters Association and Co-Chair of the Iowa Jazz Championships.   He is also currently Executive Director of the Adventureland Junior High Festival of Bands. Bands under his direction have performed at the Iowa Bandmasters Association Conference, the Jazz Educators Network national conference, and won the Iowa Jazz Championships.   In 2011 he was selected as Outstanding Educator for the Johnston Schools.   Patrick’s wife Cathy teaches instrumental music in the Des Moines Schools and his son Brogan is studying music education at Drake University.  The views expressed on this blog are my own and are not necessarily those of my employer or any organizations that I am affiliated with.


  1. Thank you for a well-written and concise review of current affairs in Iowa regarding education. My wife has been a teacher and educator over 40 years. I see the problems you outlined and I know how much she gives of her time and personal income to keep up standards as best she can. I’ve shared your post on my Facebook page and “likes” are coming in.

  2. This is a good article. A friend of mine, also a music teacher, shared it on Facebook, and I’ve in turn sent it to several Utah educators, including the chair of the Utah State Democratic Party’s Education Caucus. I hope you don’t mind. It’s very relevant here too, since we’re almost last in education funding.

  3. Thank you for your letter to Betsy DeVos. My husband and I taught in Iowa public schools before moving to Minnesota teaching and administrative careers and we continue to celebrate public school education and the protection of rural schools across our country. That you are involved in music education as my siblings, children, grandchildren are as well, I am especially appreciative of your advocacy for public education and, obviously, music education. I hope the powers that be are listening to their constituency and caring for the common good.

  4. Spoken like a true Kearney. Excellent letter to the POTUS and relative to Public Schools across the nation. Having graduated from a small farming community public school in Iowa almost 5 decades ago I have sadly watched the decline of resources for the arts in particular. We had a very good art and music program when I went through public school there. And I did go on to become an artist as a profession and way of life. But as I’ve watched the decades go by, having my own children raised and grandchildren as well, the access to creative environments in the public school, especially smaller schools, has diminished dramatically. When cuts come to public schools it seems the arts are usually the first departments to get hit and disposed of. The more voices we have out there shouting about this issue, the robbing of the public education system by the elite and the power hungry the stronger the message will be nationwide to make it stop. Thank you for your voice Patrick.

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