Reszka working on jazz CD & master's degree GAYLORD - Former Gaylord High School (GHS) construction trades teacher Randy Reszka has been keeping himself busy since his resignation in January; after his program had been reduced to one, two-hour block class, the victim of budget cuts at the school this past fall. Reszka has now exchanged time once spent providing students with hands-on construction experiences for doing fine woodworking in area homes, working on a jazz guitar CD and finishing up course work on a master's degree from Ferris State University in career and trades education. “The kids were great to work with. They were very important to me,” said Reszka, who worked as the construction trades instructor at GHS for 16 years. Because of cuts in the program - resulting in cuts to his income and benefits - Reszka reluctantly submitted his resignation at the end of the semester and is now evaluating his career options. Options are something Reszka has plenty of. A graduate of Western Michigan University in vocational education, he originally had enrolled in the college's school of music and played in the jazz orchestra before leaving school to work in construction. Returning to college several years later, Reszka earned his degree and was hired by Gaylord Community Schools in 1989. “When I was in high school my brother Dan and I played folk music in Kalamazoo. I eventually got burned out on it and it wasn't until I was in college that I started playing jazz guitar,” said Reszka. The artistically inclined Reszka brothers both worked construction jobs during the summers while they were in high school. Today, Dan is an artist who owns an art gallery, the Blue Heron, in Elk Rapids, where brother Randy has performed several times. Reszka said during his 16-year tenure at GHS, his construction trades students built a several homes from the foundation up, including several for Habitat for Humanity. The homes were built on a cement slab next to the school and later moved to their permanent location once completed. “The program really provided a lot of hands-on experience for the students and gave them a good background in construction,” said Reszka. He noted many of his students went on to find jobs in drywalling, plumbing and heating and as electricians, framers and carpenters for general contractors. “A lot of the kids who took the class have come back to thank me. I think it made a real difference in many of their lives. It was upsetting to some of the parents when there were cuts made to the program. It's too bad that when schools have to make budget cuts one of the first places people look at is vocational programs. Not everyone is going to go on to college.” Today Reszka has hung out his business shingle for Reszka Construction and Fine Woodworking, and hopes to launch a new career in construction. He is still leaving the door open for his music and doesn't rule out returning to education once he completes his master's degree later this year. In the past, Reszka said he and Dennis Rypkowski, the construction trades paraprofessional at GHS, had built spec homes during summer break and the two have plans to build another home this summer. “I worked with Dennis, who has been the construction trades paraprofessional at the school, for the past 10 years, and I have really appreciated the opportunity to work with him.” On the music side of Reszka's life he is at work finishing up a new CD of jazz standards and original songs, titled “In the Mix,” which he hopes to release sometime this spring. Reszka will be performing live Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at an Otsego Club brunch. For a schedule of upcoming concert dates log onto Reszka's Web site, www.randy reszka.com. Subscribe to the Herald Times

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Up Coming Dates

  • 12/18/2017
    James Place Walloon Lake - Petoskey, MI
     
  • 12/19/2017
    Bennethum's - Gaylord, MI
     
  • 12/21/2017
    Iron Pig - Gaylord, Michigan
     
  • 12/30/2017
    Hillside Winery - Gilboa, Ohio
     

Client Feedback

OUTSTANDING. I hired Randy to play for my parent's New Year's Eve party and everyone had a fantastic time, loved the music, enjoyed Randy's company completely, and we're looking forward to the next time we can hear him play. I can't believe how lucky we were to have him. 

-Mike M, 12/31/2011, New Year's Eve Party, Glen Arbor, MI

 

Randy Reszka was accomodating to our requests for music. He had a selection of songs that he could play, but was also able to play a special request for us for our exit song. Overall, it was an easy and nice experience to work with Randy for our wedding! 

-Katie C, 7/31/2010, Wedding Ceremony, Petoskey, MI

 

Randy was great! He put my party over the top. All the quests enjoyed his playing and many of us plan on trying to catch Randy when he plays in the northern Michigan area. He was very accommodating, when our dinner ran later than expected he continued to play his perfect light jazz. I very rarely give the highest rating across the board however, in this case I am because he deserves it. --

Barbara W, Levering, MI,

 

Randy is a great musician and a pleasure to work with. He did a great job for us and everyone thought he was great. I give him my highest recommendation. Thanks. 

-Howard C,  Birthday Party (Adults), Moon Township, PA

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