Retiring Staff: Paul Nielsen

Dr. Paul Nielsen is retiring after 27 years of being a choir director in District 127.
Dr. Paul Nielsen, retiring choir director of Grayslake North High School, is an experienced and dedicated music teacher. He has worked in the district for 27 years, primarily as the choir director for both Central and North, to share his love of music with others.
“Music is one of the most important things in my life as it is, and so just to be able to share that with students has been a really awesome thing to be doing,” Nielsen said.
Nielsen is a reserved yet enthusiastic teacher who loves to share his passion for music with his students. He has a great sense of humor, enjoys making jokes with his students, and deeply cares about them being able to enjoy themselves.
“He makes jokes with us and just has so much joy when telling us stories,” said junior Mariah Lieberman.
Nielsen’s teaching has had a profound impact on his students, helping them grow through music.
It feels like every day I walk into choir, I never know if I’ll learn something new about music or culture alike. His teaching affects me musically, making my vocals better and fuller. He has helped train my voice to sound amazing,” said senior Drake Runyon.
During his 27 years at the school, Nielsen has had the opportunity to teach a diverse range of music groups, allowing him to spread his love for music to as many students as possible.
“During my time at D127, I have taught Band, Choir, String Orchestra, Music Theory, Music Appreciation, Guitar, Exploring Tech and have been in charge of several after school groups: Slam Funk, Pirate Choir, Mariachi, Pulse A Cappella, String Quartet, Lydian Concept Jazz Combo, Jazz Band, Jazz Choir, Musical Vocal Director, Musical Pit Director, Musical Technical Director, Pep Band, Marching Band and Tri-M. Anything music, I have taught it,” Nielsen said.
In his time working here, Nielsen has also had many opportunities to have memorable experiences with students, from concerts and trips to helping students find careers in music.
“There’s been so many wonderful things that we’ve done while I’ve been here: great concerts, great trips that we’ve taken, seeing some of the kids go through here become professional musicians themselves,”  Nielsen said.
As his time in D127 ends, Nielsen’s passion for music education will continue even in his retirement. He plans to continue his career as the part-time choir director at CLC, and he looks forward to traveling more and playing gigs with various groups.
Overall, Nielsen is a dedicated and passionate music educator who has left a lasting impact on his students and the community. His love for music and teaching will be greatly missed at Grayslake North High School.