The Student News Site of Richard Montgomery High School

The Tide

The Student News Site of Richard Montgomery High School

The Tide

The Student News Site of Richard Montgomery High School

The Tide


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RM welcomes new music teacher to accommodate rise in class registrations

Raha Murtuza
Mr. Koons sits ready to play guitar.

Mr. Mark Koons, the guitar, piano and music technology teacher at Richard Montgomery, has played music his whole life. The first time he started was on his home piano before kindergarten. He participated in his school band and took lesson, but things changed when he picked up guitar. 

“I started playing guitar right before I started high school. It was just kind of like a flash in the pan thing. All of a sudden [I] was really interested in music that had guitar in it,” Mr. Koons said. “So I wanted to play and I got a guitar. I worked on it for six months on my own, and that was enough of a commitment for me to be able to take lessons.”

For his upperclassmen years of high school, Mr. Koons went to Thomas Johnson High School, a Frederick County’s magnet school for fine arts. His time there consisted mainly of exploring different pathways of music, which sparked an interest in pursuing music in college. 

After graduating from the Shenandoah Conservatory, he started taking lessons in music shops and gigs, but still felt like something was missing. So, he went back to school at Loyola University Maryland to get his Masters degree and a teacher certification. 

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Mr. Koons has previously taught at several elementary schools across Montgomery County. But due to the rising number of music class registrations post COVID, the RM music department had been looking to expand. Mr. Koons was exactly what they were looking for.

“We were looking for somebody who was competent. The school…and students demand that, [and] we’re not going to take somebody who doesn’t know their stuff. [We were looking for] somebody who will both fit in well in our musical team as…have a good rapport with the students,” director of the music department, Dr. Peter Perry said. “He fit all the bills, so we’re excited to have him over here.”

Mr. Koons has already set up a strong reputation in the first weeks of school by engaging with students in a hands-on manner and adapting to their skill levels.

“He explains things in a very clear way and…personally. If he notices you’re having trouble, he’ll come over and explain exactly what you need help on. I think that’s very productive,” senior Ryan Crothers said.

Hiring Mr. Koons is a step toward that goal of expanding the music programs at RM, especially in creating opportunities for students to explore instruments they didn’t have a chance to learn in elementary or middle school. “I’m open to seeing where this program goes,” Mr. Koons said. “It doesn’t happen at every school. RM feels like a place where something like that would be possible and I really appreciate that.”

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About the Contributors
Paige Kaluzienski, Photo Contributor
Paige is a sophomore at RM and this is her first year working on The Tide. She likes to hang out with her friends and family in her free time. She also likes to read and paint when she wants to be alone.
Raha Murtuza, Editor-in-Chief
Raha is super excited to spend her senior year as Editor-in-Chief of The Tide! Before being EIC, she wrote for Sports and Arts, and then became an editor for Arts. When she's not at school or working on all things Tide, she enjoys painting, visiting Trader Joe's and listening to the best record label on Earth, Habibi Funk.
Zita Ziniel, Opinions Writer