MUSCATINE, Iowa–In junior high school and high school, Mike Will discovered his love for music. He dabbled in playing flute, saxophone, and percussion and enjoyed it immensely. At one point in high school, he found himself taking three band classes simultaneously. His band director, Ben Garwood, urged him to continue his music studies in college. After a year at Murray State University in Kentucky, Will transferred to the University of Northern Iowa where he earned a bachelors degree in music education.
Will taught for three years at Lincoln Central High School in Gruver before he and his wife, Kathy, decided they wanted to settle closer to their hometown of Rockford, Illinois. In April 1989, Will interviewed at Louisa-Muscatine High School. He took a shine both to the school and to the City of Muscatine. “I was very impressed with the school as well as the area and immediately knew I would accept if offered the job,” he shared. “Needless to say, I was, and 32 years later I’m still here!”
In his many years at Louisa-Muscatine, Will has developed a real passion for helping each of his students master their instruments and discover their own love of music. “It’s fun to see students’ progress and have them succeed at whatever level that is, as well as for me to be able to provide opportunities for them to display their talents,” he said.
Will has also enjoyed collaborating with Louisa-Muscatine’s other teachers, especially in the music department. ” I have worked with some fantastic music teachers over the years, but working and collaborating with Lee Wolf, the LM choir director for the last 14 years, has been a true highlight of my 35 years teaching,” he reflected. “I appreciate him very much and he has become a very good friend and colleague who is always willing to help me and/or the band with whatever is necessary.”
As a longtime resident of Muscatine, Will appreciates the city for its manageable size and proximity to many regional attractions: “I always say that you can get anywhere in town in 5-10 minutes to get exactly what you need. The location of Muscatine is also close and accessible to many other surrounding communities and resources, which comes in handy sometimes.”