This year, at the Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Banquet, Bill Reichert was named Citizen of the Year. An award he will admit, he wasn’t expecting to receive.
As a band teacher for Broken Bow for 37 years now, he now finds himself teaching the children, and sometimes grand-children, of the first students he taught here.
A man dedicated to music, he has shared his love and commitment with many people in the community.
Reichert grew up in Harvard in a musically centered family. His mom played the piano and the guitar and by the third grade, Reichert was taking piano lessons. They spent time singing together and Reichert was in band throughout school.
Reichert majored in music at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. He spent three years teaching in Exeter before he began looking for a larger school.
While in college he met some friends from Broken Bow so when the opportunity arose to apply here, he took it. Thirty-seven years later, he is “Citizen of the Year.”
This award has several nominees each year. Reichert’s nomination came in part from Peggy Keller and in part from Joyce Patch.
Reichert keeps an active involvement in the community year-round. When he’s not teaching school students the art of playing an instrument, he can be found directing the Custer County Choir, the Presbyterian Church choir or marching down the street with his students in the parade to kick of the Custer County Fair.
Mr. Reichert also started the Broken Bow Band Olympics; an event he chaired for over 20 years.
Each December he organizes Holiday Notes, and in September the Patriotic Cele-bration.
The love Mr. Reichert shares for music is almost as catching as his smile. Listening to his percussion students practice for Tuesday’s concert, director and students work to keep time and create a beat that makes the listener want to join in.
From the letter Joyce Patch wrote for Mr. Reichert’s nomination one can gain an appreciation for why he was given this honorable award.
“Bill is one of those teachers who makes every child feel like he/she is the most special kid in his classroom. He knows how to make the child excel and do his/her best while still making it fun and ‘cool’ to be in the band.”
Keller said she was thrilled when she heard he received the award.
“I just felt it was time Bill knew how much he was loved and respected by this community,” she said.
Mr. Reichert is active in professional organizations statewide, including serving as secretary for the Nebraska State Bandmasters Association and as Chair for Band Affairs for the Nebraska Music Educators Association.
Mr. Reichert, still in awe at being given this title, was humbly thankful.
“Thank you to the community for thinking so much of me and for supporting me these many years in Broken Bow,” he said.
Nominees for ‘Citizen of the Year’ included: Bill Reichert, Broken Bow Public Schools; Jeanette Denson, Custer Care Center; Donna Lawson, Central Nebraska Community Services; Carolyn Mohler, BD Pre Analytical Systems; Jeff Oeltjen, Dana F. Cole & Co.; Loren Taylor, Sargent Pipe Co.; RJ Thomas, Thomas Livestock and Nancy Young, Custer Care Center.
Nominees for ‘Business of the Year’ included: Custer Care Center, Kids Kloset/My Kloset; Pamida; Schmicks Market and Tiffany Theater.
Nominees for Excellence in Customer Service - Individual included: Bob Davis, Pamida; Tammy Geiser, Pizza Hut; Jesse Goertz, UNL Extension; Doug Jones, Grocery Kart and Alissa Slagle, Runza.
Nominees for Excellence in Customer Service - Business included: Farmers’ National Dave Davis Auction; Grassland Veterinary Hospital; Grocery Kart; Pamida and Pracht’s Ace Hardware.