Kelly and Larry Detwiler both work in the music department. K. Detwiler is the high school and junior high school orchestra director. L. Detwiler teaches concert band, both jazz bands, wind ensemble and the new intro to guitar class. Both have been teaching for 32 years.
If the Detwilers didn’t become teachers, they had other options in mind.
“I was a math major in college and my ultimate goal was to work for NASA,” K. Detwiler said.
“I actually started college as an architectural engineering major. I was dead sure I was going to be an architect. If I were looking at it now, if I wasn’t a teacher I would very likely be a chef. I love to cook and I watch the food channel all the time,” L. Detwiler said.
L. Detwiler did a Penn State Blue Band transfer to go to the main campus.
“My first semester up there, Blue Band was the only class I passed. I was actually skipping my architecture classes to go to Blue Band practice. No wonder I’m not an architect,” L. Detwiler said.
Detwiler did well with her mathematics major, but ultimately decided to switch to a music major.
“I spent two years as a math major and did really well, but I kept spending more and more time at the music building with my music friends, and it just felt right to go that way,” K. Detwiler said.
The Detwilers have known each other since they were in junior high band together.
“We were both in junior high band together, high school band together, and went to Penn State together. Our first two dates were my senior prom and her junior prom,” L. Detwiler said.
The Detwilers started to get to know each other after L. Detwiler asked out K. Detwiler’s best friend.
“He made me laugh and was really funny,” K. Detwiler said.
“She was very serious and studied a lot. They always say opposites attract; we were the opposites. She was the serious one, and I was the class clown,” L. Detwiler said.
To the Detwilers, the best thing about having the summer off together is spending time with their children.
“We would always take a beach trip with our kids in the summer. With our kids getting older and them both being majorettes, we were able to take time off to go to the national competitions. We have just done a lot of things with them that we wouldn’t have been able to do if we had to work all year,” L. Detwiler said.
The Detwilers always got along with being in the same department, and even have offices right next to each other.
“We work very well together. We are able to work at school and go home and not bring our work with us. We don’t argue about too much. Being in the work environment, we have so much to talk about. We understand what is going on and how each of us have to go places during certain times,” K. Detwiler said.
The Detwilers always scheduled work around spending time with their kids.
“We could always plan rehearsal nights so that way at least one of us was home with the kids,” L. Detwiler said.
Although their offices are right next to each other, they don’t see each other that often during the day.
“With her having an orchestra room, we don’t really see each other because we have our own rooms. At the old high school, we saw more of each other because we had to share the room,” L. Detwiler said.
Some of their best memories are when both of their daughters were in the high school with them.
“We had one year when both Courtney and Mackenzie were both here. Courtney was a senior and Mackenzie was a sophomore. We had Friday nights when we were all on the bus together to go to football games, and times when we were all here for concerts,” L. Detwiler said.