Skip to main content

The City Journals

Music staff sings praises of Principal Quarnberg

Sep 09, 2021 09:59AM ● By Jet Burnham

A supportive and competitive administrator, Principal Todd Quarnberg (front center) is at the center of HHS extra curricular groups such as the marching band. (Photo courtesy of Brandon Larsen)

By Jet Burnham | [email protected]

The biggest fan of Herriman High School’s performing arts programs is Principal Todd Quarnberg. He attends every concert and competition, staying until the very end to speak with parents, congratulate students, and to share their accomplishments on social media.

The Utah Music Educators Association named Quarnberg as an Outstanding Administrator for his exemplary support of the music programs at Herriman High. He was nominated for the award by members of his faculty.

“I've been teaching for 10 years and I've never had an administrator show such genuine care for our art,” HHS Director of Bands Brandon Larsen said. “Todd genuinely listens and participates in our art. Every time I speak with him, he's asking questions about our marching band show, how we're going to make it competitive, and how he can help.” 

Quarnberg knows what the groups need to succeed because he is involved in their practices and performances.

“As the leader and the principal of the school, I better have ownership of the products that we're putting out there,” Quarnberg said. “If I don't go to the concert and hear the mics cutting out, then I don't know that I need a new sound system. I think it's my responsibility to be involved, to know what I need to be doing as a principal to fix or support or purchase.” 

He values the skills students gain from participation in performing arts-- discipline, confidence, and the ability to accept critique.

“I've really learned to appreciate what it does for students, not just here in high school, but in preparation for college, career and beyond in all aspects of their life,” Quarnberg said. “I really have a deep gratitude for what these teachers and performing arts provide our students.”

Quarnberg admits his involvement is, in part, due to his competitive nature—he expects students to perform to their maximum potential—and not just the students of performing arts. Quarnberg is enthusiastically involved in all HHS programs and intensely supportive of all 2200 students. His attention and high expectations inspire teachers and students to do their best.

“Our kids know he cares because he is there for them-- performances, events, games, assemblies; Mr. Quarnberg is always there for our students and they see that,” orchestra and percussion director Nicholas Jackson said. “His support represents a real investment from administration in whatever activity the students are in. Mr. Q genuinely cares about every activity from band to ballroom to basketball. His support means that, not only him, but the whole school is behind the activities and classes that we teach. He provides a backbone to us teachers and support system for the students.”

Growing up in a small town, Quarnberg was involved in a variety of high school activities, ranging from marching band to student government to football and wrestling. He values the experiences students gain by participating in these programs.

Larsen said because Quarnberg supports every student and every interest, every student and staff member feels valued.

“When you interact with Todd, you always leave feeling like you're his favorite person,” Larsen said. “There isn't much more you could ask from a leader.”

As HHS’s biggest fan, Quarnberg will spend nearly every weekend in September and October at marching band competitions. When the HHS marching band heads to St. George for the state championship in November, Quarnberg will be there to identify opportunities for improvement, to cheer them on and to brag about them to anyone who’ll listen.

And he’ll show the same enthusiasm for every other competition, concert, performance and project HHS students are involved in throughout the school year. That’s just the kind of principal he is.

“I've dedicated everything I can to this high school and I support it all,” Quarnberg said. “There is no greater service job than that of an educator and I'm grateful to be a part of it.”