Dan Beam
Dan Beam
Tuesday will be Edgewood Middle School teacher Dan Beam’s last day as a teacher as he will be retiring after 48 years of teaching.

The last 42 years of his teaching career have been at Edgewood, where he taught vocal music and music tech.

Beam was in choir all through high school and his choral teacher encouraged him to go on with his vocal music career. Beam said music education was his main vocation.

The Plymouth native started off his career teaching in Plymouth. When a position opened up at Warsaw, Beam said he applied, having student taught at Warsaw Community Schools.

When Beam started working at Edgewood, it was originally called Warsaw Middle School. It then split up into two schools - Edgewood and Lakeview middle schools – in the early 1990s.

In explaining why he stayed at Edgewood, Beam said when he originally started working at what is now Edgewood, it was a brand new school. On top of that, he was comfortable with the school and appreciated its leadership.

Beam noted there have been some changes in his tenure as a teacher at WCS. One of them is the fact that the amount of facilities and accommodations to the school districts has changed. Another change he noted was that technology has changed over the years.

Another thing Beam noted was WCS’s variety of programs, saying students have more educational opportunities to widen their perspective.

Beam said retiring was an easy decision to make.

“I have to stop some time,” he said. “Like everyone, you’re concerned about how to fill your day.”

At this time, Beam said he doesn’t have any particular plans in mind after retirement. “I’ll just take one day at a time and will see how it unfolds,” he said.

Some of the things he stated he will miss is the contact with people and being involved in the school. He will miss helping students  who have an interest in music to strengthen their skills, as well as working with a good team of colleagues.

Edgewood Middle School Principal JoElla Hauselman said Beam built up a reputation for creating amazing music with a unique mix of seventh- and eighth-grade students. Anyone could be in choir. His choirs have earned gold repeatedly in the Indiana State School Music Association contests and the performances of his choirs in concerts have left many in the audience in amazement, she said.

“Students signed up for choir to not only go to Cedar Pointe or have a class with no homework, they signed up because year after year, other students told them how much fun it was. Mr. Beam had the unique ability to bring out the best in his students, while allowing them to still enjoy a classroom environment that was playful and fun. For years our community has experienced incredible music during the Veterans Day programs and seasonal concerts, laughed and enjoyed the choreography for some of the fun numbers and he created memories for our students and parents that still make them smile,” she said.

Hauselman said there will be a big gap at the school with Beam retiring. She said she even tried to change his mind about it.

“Mr. Beam has always been someone we can count on for whatever needed to be done. Often on snow delays and cancellations, he would still come to school to answer phones, calm down people who called in and to keep parents informed.  When students needed after-school support to complete eLearning, I knew I could ask Mr. Beam to assist and he always volunteered,” she said.

“I remember one time only a few of us made it to work in the bad weather and suddenly the power went out. When we found out it wasn't coming back any time soon, milk cartons had to be moved to the chiller to keep them cold. Mr. Beam and a couple of others  actually took lanterns and flashlights to the pitch-black kitchen area and moved all 600-plus cartons of milk to keep them from spoiling. He really would help whenever and wherever needed. We learned we could count on him and he was a servant leader,” she said.

Hauselman said finding a way to celebrate Beam’s retirement has been difficult due to the coronavirus pandemic and what the school can do based on guidelines and restrictions.

“We did ask people to recognize Mr. Beam through the (Warsaw Educational Foundation) Honor an Educator program, we are in the process of collecting letters and cards from anyone who wants to send a special message to Mr. Beam and we are making a celebration video for him,” Hauselman said.

“He actually asked us not to ‘make a big deal’ out of his retirement, but we truly needed to do something to let him know he made a difference, he is valued and he will be missed,” she said.