Waters retires leaving powerful impact on students and colleagues 


Submitted Kathrine Waters

After 14 years of advising many school clubs, teaching all choral ensembles, and forming lasting relationships with students, choral teacher Kathrine Waters will be retiring.

Karthik Yalala, Editor-in-Chief

Choral teacher Kathrine Waters has decided to retire after 14 years of teaching at Algonquin and making meaningful relationships with students and colleagues. 

Waters knew she wanted to teach from a young age. 

“I’ve admired teachers since the first grade, when my teacher, Mrs. Cooper, used to sing directions to us,” Waters said in an interview via email. “It seemed very natural for me to take [music] to the official level of becoming a teacher. I always wanted to teach and I wanted to make music, so teaching students to make music is the perfect combination.”

Prior to becoming a teacher full-time, Waters worked many jobs that incorporated performing and teaching such as teaching private lessons and directing community theaters with children and adults. 

“I was a performer, singing with bands, choruses and orchestras,” Waters said in her email. “I taught a music appreciation class at a local university, two days a week for seven years. There was always some combination of performing and teaching. It was important for me to keep doing what I do, even though I was home with my children most of the time. I wanted to be ready to teach full time when the youngest went to school.”

According to Music Theory, Beginning Guitar and Band teacher Eric Vincent, the experiences Waters had from her time before teaching were beneficial when teaching.

“I feel like we worked so well together because we have some different musical strengths and experience,” Vincent said in an interview via email. “Being able to bounce ideas off of each other was great, especially when I first started as a young teacher at Algonquin.”

Along with the various classes Waters taught at Algonquin, she was very involved in many student organizations. 

“I’ve taught all of the choral ensembles, Mixed Chorus, Concert Choir, Camerata Singers and Chamber Choir, as well as Honors Music Theory for a few years, and Beginning piano starting three years ago,” Waters said. “I’ve been the advisor to the after school groups, A-Gents, Ladies First and Algoncappella, and assisted Mrs. Collins with Tri-M.”

Both Vincent and head of the Fine and Performing Arts teacher Amy Collins recall the tremendous amount of energy she brought to every class and rehearsal. 

“She brought 110% energy to every rehearsal and cared deeply about her students and their musical development,” Vincent said. “Mrs. Waters made a real effort to help EVERY student grow, from the most advanced to those that needed more support.”

I will miss her unmatched energy and enthusiasm,” Collins said in an interview via email. “I always enjoyed going into the chorus room mid rehearsal and watching her lead the chorus, all while singing, playing the piano and dancing!”

Waters said that she will take away the countless memories she made with her students and fellow colleagues. 

“Some of the most memorable experiences of my time at Algonquin are the trips we’ve taken with students to places like Washington D.C., New York City and various European cities,” Waters said. “I’ll also take with me the memories of Pops Concerts in the gym, and collaboration with Mr. Vincent on jazzy Holiday and pop tunes and with Mrs. Collins on grand chorus and orchestra pieces like “How Can I Keep from Singing” in the spring and our traditional White Christmas, when alumni join us singing and playing on stage at the Holiday Festival Concerts.” 

Waters is most proud of helping students realize their potential in the classroom. 

“Looking back at my time at Algonquin, I’m most proud of the times when students discovered their strengths in the chorus room,” Waters said. “It was almost as if I could sense them thinking, ‘Oh, wow! I’m good at this. Maybe I’m good at other things, too!’ In class, we call it the light bulb moment, and I think most educators live for it.”