New Music Building Honors Former Teacher

Press release from Eureka City Schools:

Don Moehnke, a music teacher at Eureka City Schools from 1958-1993, was a man who made a significant and lasting impact on students and staff at Eureka High School and the community. As a teacher who taught for over 35 years, Mr. Moehnke’s reach and influence continues to have a lasting impact on many people. On May 3, 2018, after noting the contributions and influence of Mr. Moehnke, the Governing Board of Eureka City Schools adopted the recommendation of an ad hoc committee to name the new music building at Eureka High School the “Don Moehnke Music Building” in Mr. Moehnke’s honor.

This is the first time the music building has been modernized since being constructed in 1939. The modernization of the music building at Eureka High School started in September 2017 and will be complete by August 2018. Interior renovations, completed earlier this month, include newly installed flooring, lighting upgrades, upgraded ADA accessible bathrooms, sound system and recording system upgrades, and a new music file system to hold sheet music. Final exterior renovations, to be fully complete by August 2018, include new siding, windows, and painting of the building.

Charles Young, a music teacher at Eureka High School, notes the following: “Earlier this month, my students and I played for the first time inside the newly renovated music building. The look on my students’ faces as they played was wide-eyed and full of brilliant smiles as they finished. It was as if they were hearing parts of the band for the first time. The naming of this building truly honors a man who was an icon for the District and our community.”

In response to the Board’s decision to name the music building after Mr. Moehnke, the Moehnke commented: “The Moehnke family is extremely proud to have the Eureka High School music building named after our father, Don Moehnke. Dad spent over 28 years teaching in that building, and touched the lives of thousands of students, many of whom are still performing music all over the world. Dad’s students knew him as a teacher, a mentor, and most of all, a friend.”

The decision to name the music building after Mr. Moehnke was done in appreciation and honor for a teacher who cared about his students and loved his community. At the end of the day, the honor is that of Mr. Moehnke’s students and community, to have been the ones influenced and affected by such an amazing teacher. Superintendent of Eureka City Schools, Fred Van Vleck, Ed.D., notes, “Contributing to the legacy of Mr. Moehnke by naming the Eureka High School music building after him pales in comparison to what he gave to impact thousands of students over his career.”

The Moehnke family encourages those who did not know Don Moehnke to take a few minutes to enjoy a YouTube video produced in response to an essay written by a Eureka High School student. The Moehnke family notes the video, produced in 1992, gives a glimpse into the man and teacher he was. Please visit the Eureka City Schools Facebook page to view the linked YouTube video and leave a memory or comment.[Or see above]

Special thanks goes out to community member Jerry Scott for chairing the ad hoc committee, and also to Charles Young, music teacher at Eureka High School, for providing background on Mr. Moehnke along with his history and influence on students at Eureka High School.

The District is working on scheduling a naming ceremony in the Fall of 2018 honoring Mr. Moehnke and will announce the date and time in the near future. We hope those touched by his influence will be able to attend the dedication ceremony. If you would like to receive notification of the date and time of the ceremony, please contact Micalyn Harris at the telephone number or email address listed below.

Eureka City Schools remains appreciative to the voters in the greater Eureka area for passing Measure S, which has supported the modernization of school buildings within Eureka City Schools, such as the modernization of the music building at Eureka High School.

Micalyn Harris, Eureka City Schools
Tel: 707-441-2414



  • Katherine Anderson

    I had the privilege of playing in the EHS orchestra with him from 81-84. He was a wonderful instructor and treated all of us as if we were the best student in the class. So glad to see him honored in this way.

  • Don was a fine musician and true champion and advocate for students. This is so fitting and well deserved.

  • Me. Moehnke was one of the best teachers I ever had the pleasure of learning from. He truly lovedwhat he did and it showed.
    ~ EED, class if 1992

  • Mr. Don Moehnke has a special place in my heart. I was in the Orchestra and Stage Band in the mid 70’s. He took us to Reno to compete, which was a great success. Many times after graduation I would run into him at events and always had a good chat. Honoring him in this way is wonderful.

  • Sue Freeman Potter

    I not only had Don Moehnke in high school (class of 1970) but was his pupil the first year opening of Winship Jr. Hi. He was as passionate about his students as he was his music. This honor is well deserved.

  • Sharon Rose Edmondson

    I had the pleasure to have Don Moehnke (and Jim Westman) as music teachers while
    I was in high school (1973-1976) playing the EHS Selmer Baritone Sax… and my own
    horns… I was also a part of the Moehnke family, as I was Bill Moehnke’s first spouse, and the Mother of Michael W. Moehnke, and even tho we divorced, we will always
    be special to each other – siblings too! My Father, Bill (William G.) Edmondson passed away very recently and I am so glad that OUR families were able to have made music
    (and drama) together. The spring of 1976 was the first time that Eureka High’s Jazz
    Band competed in the Reno Jazz Festival, and for ONE very special day, we were in
    first place … Such wonderful memories!!!

    • Just an update to the story, today, Sept. 14, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. is the dedication ceremony for the Moehnke Rehearsal hall. The EHS Limited Edition (Jazz choir) and Jazz Ensemble will perform. Hope you can attend!

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