New band teacher to start on positive note

Joey Fortino

At San Benito High School, the halls will be alive with the sounds of music from a new band teacher next school year.
Jim Zuniga, the school’s longtime music teacher, will be retiring in early June, with Joey Fortino coming from the San Jose Unified School District to take his spot.
“We are very fortunate to have someone of Mr. Fortino’s expertise and skill to take over the reins from one of the best Music Teachers and Band Directors on the Central Coast,” wrote Shawn Tennenbaum, the district’s director of human resources, in an email to high school staff. “Over the years, Mr. Zuniga has done an incredible job taking our music program to new heights and the greater San Benito High School community is very grateful for all he has done.”
Fortino has spent the last five years as the music instructor for Allen at Steinbeck School in the San Jose Unified School District, where he taught band, choir, general music and guitar classes, according to the email.
“Renowned for his inclusion of special needs students, Mr. Fortino designed a program that has grown in interest each and every year,” Tennenbaum wrote in the email. “His ability to work with students and inspire them to reach new heights is exemplary.”
Prior to that, Fortino worked at Los Gatos High School, where he directed the concert band, marching band, jazz band, percussion ensemble and orchestra.
He began his career at Gilroy High School, where he was the band director for 11 years, according to the email.

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