St. Pete Catalyst (January 23, 2024) Mayor Ken Welch called teachers catalysts for inspiration who make a profound impact on the lives of students the the future of the community.
Dylan Madrinan opened his speech with, “It’s a weird thing to have your uncle and godfather as your band director,” and, after the laughter died down, added that his teacher makes students feel confident and capable of achieving their dreams. He closed with, “I’m proud to be a band dork for life. Thanks, Uncle Jerry – I mean Mr. Madrinan.”
The Pinellas Education Foundation agreed with Dylan’s sentiments, as Gerard Madrinan was named Pinellas County Schools’ 2024 Teacher of the Year. The foundation recognized his impact at the district’s annual Evening of Excellence ceremony, held Monday night at the Mahaffey Theater.
Madrinan is a Band Director and Music Teacher at Seminole High School and a Pinellas County Schools (PCS) alum. He holds a Bachelor of Music Education and a Master of Music in Instrumental Conducting from the University of South Florida. Madrinan said he first fell in love with Seminole High School’s Marching Band in 4th grade, when his older brother was in the band. For the last 33 years, he has been connected to the marching band – from watching as a little kid to now serving as the band director.
After thanking his administration, mentors, colleagues and family on stage Monday night, Madrinan acknowledged his past and present students.
“You are not just my ‘why,’ but you are the why and the reason for the entire community. And on January 1, 2025, you’ll represent the best of us as you march down Colorado Boulevard in the 2025 Rose Parade in California,” Madrinan said. “On a completely separate note, if any of you know any wealthy philanthropists who would like to donate and support some awesome kids, please send them my way.”