Scalise Navidad


Mr. Scalise on the upright bass

His biggest hobby became his job — teaching music. And that’s exactly what he does here at Apple Valley High School.

Mr. Scalise had teaching stints at Cannon Falls High School, Minnesota, and at Coventry High School in Ohio before settling down again in Minnesota.

The Kentucky native is in his second year of teaching and loves every second of it.  His love for music started in high school when he joined the school’s band, along with forming his own groups with a couple of other colleagues at the time.

“I really liked the ensemble experience . . . and making music with other people,” Mr. Scalise said. He received his bachelor’s degree from St. Olaf University and went on to Case Western University for his master’s degree.

Being a music educator comes with many challenges, testing Mr. Scalise every day. “…The hardest part is . . . planning ahead. Knowing what’s coming up next.”

Mr. Scalise teaches symphonic band, both jazz ensembles, and other ensembles at AVHS. “I’m still trying to figure out what [music] is out there that really fits symphonic band, the jazz ensembles, and the 9th graders coming in . . . and that changes every year . . . So that’s a constant challenge.”

Every job is going to come with trials of performance, but he’s taken it all with ease and gone past that. His favorite part of his job is the people. There isn’t a day where he doesn’t want to come in and work with aspiring youth and staff members alike.

Band members have expressed their gratitude towards Mr. Scalise. Anna Milbauer, a senior, said, “He’s brought a lot of new things to marching band and athletic band to make it more interesting and fun.”

Likewise, junior Payton Parmett said, “He continues to integrate new ideas into the band program that make it more enjoyable and entertaining.”

Instrumental music teacher Mr. Desens also put in his two cents, saying, “He is very positive and brings a lot of energy to the program.”

Along with teaching music, Mr. Scalise is a full-time dad with two daughters, Lucy and Matilda. His wife is a psychologist at Children’s Hospital in St. Paul.

Aside from musical arts, he’s always had a passion for the arts. “I’m the world’s worst drawer [but] I think I would love a career in graphic design.”

In a parallel universe . . . Mr. Scalise is a graphic designer. But for now, he is the unstoppable force that is music teacher.

Jessica Leung can be reached at [email protected].