A generous donation of a Kawai grand piano and a Kawai upright piano were presented to USD 247 by Ellen Harrington and her brother, Mark Harrington. Ellen is a current English teacher at Southeast High School. She began teaching for USD 247 in 1989 at the Weir campus. She moved to Southeast High School in 2011. Mark is employed by the IRS and works in the Identity Theft Division. He currently resides in Raymore, Missouri. According to Ellen, both of her parents, David and Donna Harrington, were musicians. Her dad taught band in public schools starting in the fall of 1957 and left teaching in 1979 to become a full time piano tuner and technician. He also played in many jazz and dance bands in the area including the Black Friars, the Alley Cats, and the Jack Henderson Band. Ellen’s mom earned a degree in piano performance from PSU and taught piano lessons from the early 1950s until she stopped completely in 2014. She also played in the Alley Cats. David Harrington passed away on October 16, 1998 and Donna Harrington passed away September 17, 2017.
Mark suggested donating the pianos to a school and Ellen suggested giving them to Southeast. Her brother was more than willing to do that, especially since Ellen teaches for the district. Ellen and Mark know that their parents would want the pianos to go to the school because they would be used for furthering the music education of students. Dr. Brad Miner, Superintendent, said the district is very appreciative of the generosity of Mark and Ellen and know that the pianos will be put to good use by staff and students for many years to come.
*Pictures courtesy of Southeast High School Senior Caitlin Low