Mrs. Sarah Rivers
WMS Band Director
Work: (317) 867-6661
About Me: I grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana…the home of the Bulldogs. Interestingly enough the school colors were and still are, Purple and White. I still don’t know why those colors were chosen because I have never seen a PURPLE Bulldog. Regardless, I am proud to be a “Bulldog”. My activities during school were playing Softball, I was an incredible 3rd baseman, basketball, and of course my music.
I went to Indiana State University and received my Bachelors Degree in Music Education, graduating 1985. I later studied at Indiana University and received a Masters Degree in Counseling-Counselors Education.
Upon my graduation from ISU, I accepted my first teaching job was at West Vigo MS/HS located in Terre Haute, In. After 1 year at West Vigo, I decided to move closer to home and took the job at Westfield MS/HS. I have been here ever since. I am currently in my 27th year of teaching. I feel very blessed to be working for such a fantastic school corporation.
In 1991 I married a very lucky man, Kelly B. Rivers. We now have 2 fantastic sons, Stewart-17, and Thomas-14. They both attend school in Lebanon, Indiana. We also have a black Miniature Schnauzer named Tucker, 1 fish named Ned (which has been alive FOREVER), and a Bearded Dragon named Aussie.
My favorite thing to do out of school is to bake and decorate cakes. I actually made my Nephews wedding cake this summer. It turned out pretty darn good! 😀 I am also very much into watching my sons in their sports, playing my saxophone and watching the food network.
Mrs. Emily Smith
WMS Choral Director
Work: (317) 867-6662
I grew up in the football-crazy town of Columbus, OH, but migrated to Indianapolis after graduating from Ball State University in 2002 with a degree in Choral Music Education (K-12). I taught choir and music theory at Mt. Vernon High School from 2002-2006, general music/choir at Westfield Intermediate School from 2010-2011, and Choir/Music Exploration at Westfield Middle School from 2011-present. I am also a licensed Kindermusik instructor and former member of the cover band “Nexus.”
I have a wonderful husband, Kenton, who works for Butler University and a beautiful daughter, Gabrielle (6) who started kindergarten this year at Oak Trace Elementary School. Rounding out the family is our crazy dog, Jack (a Jack Russell Terrier that we fondly call our “Jack Russell Terror”). In my free time, I enjoy reading, watching reality TV (at least I can admit it), baking, spending time with my family, playing piano, and singing (of course)!
To read my blog post, “7 Things You Don’t Need to Know About Me,” click on the link!
Mr. Jeffrey McLaughlin
WMS Music Exploration Teacher
Work: (317) 867-6831
I was born in a small in southern Texas and moved to Indiana when I was about 2 years old. I have been fortunate to come from a musical family starting with my grandparents. My grandfather is a woodwind player and singer. My grandmother sings (constantly). My dad plays bass guitar and saxophones as well as sings. My brother is a singer-songwriter and my sister plays flute and sings. My home was always filled with music on the stereo and singing together in the car (back in the day we didn’t have DVD players on road trips). I can remember buying my first record in 1st grade- Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
I started playing music when I was about 10 years old with piano lessons (reluctantly at first). After a little time, I really fell in love with piano and took up the drums when I was about 12. This allowed me to get involved with playing in groups throughout middle and high school where I played in concert band, marching band, jazz band, show choir, and percussion ensemble. While I was in high school, I started teaching a couple younger students music lessons and really enjoyed the aspect of teaching. So, I decided to pursue a degree in music education at Anderson University. During my college years, I was involved in several musical experiences that really shaped me as a musician including wind ensemble, piano accompanying, jazz ensemble, male chorus, percussion ensemble, orchestra, and jazz combo. During school, I joined a band that toured around the Midwest playing youth camps, concerts, and festivals. We were also the worship band at Spring Hill Camps in Michigan for a couple of summers. This was a ton of fun and definitely a highlight musically. During my junior year of college, I met my beautiful wife Sarah in college who is a singer-songwriter. We connected through music through piano studio and playing together in different groups on campus. We continue to play together today. This is a blast to share music together! Shortly after graduating from college, my younger brother Jon formed a band to play his own music and I played with him couple of years. I had so much fun doing this for a while and still play with him now and once and a while.
I decided to pursue teaching once I got into college after enjoying teaching private music students. I received an undergraduate degree in music education from Anderson University. Upon graduation, I taught band and general music for 3 years at a middle school in Anderson. Then I decided to take a break from public education to pursue a master’s degree in percussion performance from Butler. During this time, I played professionally with my wife Sarah and group called Cook and Belle who toured the Midwest States mostly. I also taught part-time at Anderson University and Marian University. I started teaching at Westfield 3 years ago and really enjoy the community here.
I have been married for 10 years to Sarah. We have two children, Soren and Joseph. Spending time with wife and kids is definitely at the top of my list as far as favorite actives. I also love to travel, hike, and camp. I also love to run, swim and bike. My wife and I are registered for our first triathlon this fall! I also love to cook and love to discover new recipes.