Meet the Teacher: Charlee Eekhoff


Orchestra teacher Charlee Eekhoff rejoins the faculty at Pella High.

Q: What caused you to leave the district?

A: I taught for Pella for four years, and then my family got started. So my daughter Giovy was born in July of 2004, so that May is when I decided that I would stay home because I always wanted to stay home when we started our family. I have been out of the full-time classroom for 18 years, and I’m ready to be back. 

Q: What brought you back to the district?

A: I’m an instrumental music education major. Orchestra is my major. Violin is my major instrument, and that’s what I went to college for, and it’s what I’ve always wanted to do. I got to do that for a while before I stayed home. And I’ve been active on my instrument all this time and was teaching lessons. It was just good timing to come back now. 

Q: What are your goals for the orchestra program this year?

A: This year my goals are selecting diverse programming for each one of our concerts. I want it to be diverse in the sense of the skills needed to perform well for all of my kids. Everybody’s got to work on something. I want it to be diverse in genres of music, like Baroque, 21st century, classical, different composers and then diverse styles of playing.

Q: What are the biggest challenges you might face this year?

A: Well, finding music that is good for four different levels of playing that I have at the high school, ninth grade through twelfth grade is challenging. I’ve got that many different years of ability. My freshmen come in with not as much experience as my seniors, and so selecting pieces that are going to challenge everybody to some degree is hard. 

Q: What are you looking forward to this school year?

A: Probably being around high schoolers a little bit more because for most of my substitute teaching over the past 10 years, I’ve been in the middle levels, Jefferson especially. My daughter Giovy graduated and has been in high school the past four years, but I haven’t spent as much time around high schoolers in a long time. So I’m actually kind of looking forward to being around high schoolers a little bit more.