Jeremy Hammond, band teacher at Sam Brannon Middle School
SACRAMENTO, CA - When he was a sixth grader begging his parents to play the trumpet, Jeremy Hammond never imagined he would end up standing in front of hundreds of teenagers teaching music.
His vibrant, energetic personality has his seventh and eighth graders at Sam Brannon Middle School captivated.
"Mr. Hammond is so full of energy. He always pushes us to be the best we can," student ArthurLee said. "That inspires me a lot."
Hammond found his passion at an early age while watching his father play trumpet on special occasions, but it was his Granite Bay High School band teacher that turned his curiosity into, what has become, a successful career choice.
"I saw how much fun he had as a teacher and how it fulfilled his life and I thought, 'That's what I want to do,'" Hammond explained.
History may very well repeat itself, with Hammond's students finding a connection to music they never thought they would have.
"When I first started I thought, 'I was never gonna be good,' but I kept playing and am getting kind of good," alto saxophone player Brandon Charriere said.
Hammond spent the last seven years bringing his experience to the classroom. He said he has watched students capture creativity through the art of music, something he calls, amazing.
"The skills you get from it (music) like discipline, persistence and learning how to be a team player and work as a group to accomplish something beautiful... is a gift," Hammond said.
A gift that is valued and will never be forgotten by students.
"If I could sum him up in one word, I would say awesome," student Freddy Maestes said.