After eight years as Sequoyah’s Music Specialist, Zachary Provost will be leaving the school at the end of the school year. Provost’s departure was announced in an email sent to Sequoyah families on April 13, 2015.
Explaining his departure, Provost said that “there comes a time in all of our lives where it feels like a change is good, and it’s that time for me.” He expressed his gratitude to the Sequoyah community, saying “I’ve learned so much and grown so much as a person working with these students and families.” Beginning next year, Provost will be teaching at Los Encinos, a smaller, K-6 school similar to Sequoyah in Encino, in the San Fernando Valley.
Provost had been considering his departure for some time. “When I started the beginning of this year,” he said, “in the back of my head, I sort of had this thing, ‘This may or may not be my last year.’” He added, “I just want to have some new experiences and see how that helps grow and shape my teaching in different ways.” He described his decision as part of a “teacher’s journey.”
Azizi Williams, Assistant Director, said the search for a replacement is “going well.” The hiring process includes an interview with the search committee and a classroom demonstration. She could not speculate on when a replacement will be picked and announced, but said “the community will be notified as soon as possible.”
Provost said Sequoyah is searching for “someone really good, qualified, and adaptable to the values of Sequoyah.” He noted that the unique musical atmosphere of Sequoyah comprises “things kids want to do and stuff we know has worked over the years. Ideally, we want somebody who has a good sense of that mix.”
Susie Tanner, Theatre Specialist, praised Provost as “my partner and collaborator.” She complimented his multiple talents as a musician and teaching artist. He is a “kind, gentle, creative risk-taker,” she said. Addressing her best wishes to him directly, Tanner said, “I’ve totally appreciated your skill and flexibility, and have loved working with you for the past 8 years. I will miss you!”
Theatre Specialist and parent Bob Cesario called Provost “a mensch,” and “someone you can always count on to do the job brilliantly and with a great attitude.” Cesario noted Provost’s fast turn-around time for original pieces “that perfectly reflected the tone and message of the piece.” Cesario singled out their collaboration on the Junior High play Grease a few years ago, where Provost “not only agreed to rehearse the music with the kids, but gathered a combo of his musician buddies to play for the performance.” Cesario also remarked that he would miss Provost’s presence.
Sarah Hughes, Junior High student, concurred. “He’s really sweet, an amazing pianist, reads my frantic late night emails, lets me sing songs I learned about five minutes before I sing them on stage.” Eighth grade student Sofia Avila appreciated that Provost “saw potential in me and brought out the musical side I didn’t know I had.” Seventh-grader Nomi Kuntz expressed a common sentiment about one of Provost’s most prominent roles on campus when she said she would be “sad to see the Musicale host leave!”
In a farewell sent with the official announcement, Provost said, “I look forward to one more rich and rewarding Musicale with this community, and of course I hope to come back and visit this amazing place for years to come.”