FHS says farewell to its Band Director of six years

After six years of hard work, sweat and tears, next year’s Fremont High band program will undergo a big change.

Band director Doug Bogatz will start the 2022-2023 school year at a new location, Omaha Westview high school.

That is one of two new high schools being opened this fall by Omaha Public Schools (OPS).

“The difficult decision to move on to a different high school this upcoming school year was reached by my wife and I as the best thing in the future for my growing family,” Bogatz said.

Although Bogatz is taking this new opportunity, his students were shocked by the news.

Trombone player junior Bryce Reeson said, “I am sad, simply. It’s hard to imagine doing all of our band activities (marching band, pep band, concerts, festivals) without him [Bogatz].”

Many of Bogatz’ students describe him as being “energetic” and “focused”.

“Bogatz always brings the energy, ” Reeson said. “Everything could be going wrong and you could be playing a song you don’t enjoy, but you would be able to get through it because he was leading the charge. Whatever Bogatz is doing, his energy is always infectious, and I will miss that most of all during our 7 A.M. marching band rehearsals.”

The band program has received several superior ratings throughout their concert and marching levels. Recently, the Tigers were awarded a state-level Superior Rating in marching band, which is the first since 1998.

“It is our intention within the program to maintain this level of successful performance moving forward,” Bogatz said. “My expectation is that the students will continue to foster the family-oriented, supportive atmosphere we have built for the Band and orchestra programs.”

Aside from not being able to see his students next year, he will continue to have expectations for the program.

“There’s a drive for excellence here that you simply do not have everywhere,” Bogatz said. “(But) I will also miss my colleagues dearly.”

Along with the tough decision and wide variety of emotions, the staff and students have come to an understanding and have accepted the news.

“Though we are all disappointed that he’s leaving and will miss him a lot,” Reeson said, “We understand that it’s best for him and we wish him the best in the future.”