Leaving on a good note

An interview with Missy Noonan, retiring LSE choir teacher


Photo Credit: Nicole Tinius

Q: What is your name?

A: Missy Noonan

Q: How long have you been teaching at Southeast? 

A: I student-taught at Southeast in 1988 and started teaching here in 1990.

Q: Did you enjoy teaching at Southeast, why or why not?  

A: I have loved teaching at Southeast! There were some days (back in the day)  when we didn’t have air conditioning or hot water in the bathrooms that the thought of teaching at another school went through my mind. However, the students always kept me here. I have always loved the students, staff, and philosophy of our music program. We believe that every student matters and that what we learn and create each day can be empowering and transformative. 

Q: What do you believe has been the most rewarding experience at Southeast? 

A: While rehearsals and performances are always amazing experiences, I think it is the small,  daily things that are the most rewarding…kindnesses toward each other, group successes, individual successes, emotional connections to music and each other, inclusivity, and spontaneous moments.

Q: What will you miss the most? 

A: Without a doubt, I will miss the choir students and my performing arts colleagues and friends! Oh, and  creamed turkey!

Q: What do you hope for all the future students involved in vocal performance at Southeast? 

A: My hope is that vocal students realize that choir gives them opportunity to grow individually but also to contribute to a group collaboration that is bigger than themselves. Singing is a life-long gift and should continue after high school. Everyone has a voice and that voice is important…in choir and in life!

Q: What are your future plans beyond retirement? 

A: Living life with no bells! I am looking forward to unstructured time with family, hobbies, travel,  and working on projects around the house. I have a home decorating blog that I started during the pandemic that has grown and evolved into an actual business. With retirement, I can spend more time on creating content and building the business.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to add? 

A: I am so grateful for my years at Southeast High. I want to thank students, staff, parents, and friends (past and present!)  for a truly special and rewarding career! I love you, Southeast!