Lorena Schakel, a native of Grand Prairie, Texas, is currently in her ninth year teaching, and in her second year teaching as the Director of Bands at brand new Herbert Akins Road Middle School in Fuquay-Varina, NC. She also serves as the Fine Arts Department Chair. Prior to Herbert Akins Rd., she taught middle school and high school band in Stokes County, NC for seven years. During that time she served as the Tri-M Music Honor Society Co-Advisor, and School Improvement Team representative at West Stokes High School. Before teaching, Schakel attended Fuquay-Varina High School in Wake County, NC, and first learned about Music Education from her high school band director, Mr. Matt Edwards.
Schakel received her Bachelor of Music Education with a concentration in Instrumental Education from Appalachian State University, where she studied clarinet under Dr. Andrea Cheeseman. During her time at Appalachian State, she was a member of the university’s chapter of NAfME, served on the state Collegiate Executive Board of NCMEA as Corresponding Secretary, and reestablished the university's collegiate chapter of the National Band Association while serving as President. She also served as the Vice President-Ritual for the Epsilon Theta chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota. Schakel played clarinet in numerous ensembles at Appalachian State including the Concert Band, Symphony Band, Wind Ensemble, and several chamber ensembles. She was also a member of the Marching Mountaineers as a clarinetist and a trombonist. While a part of the Marching Mountaineers, she held leadership positions such as trombone section leader, and drum major. During Schakel's last year at Appalachian State, she served on the Dean's Advisory Council for the Hayes School of Music. She completed her student teaching with Mr. Brian Myers at Green Hope High School.
After graduating, Schakel started her teaching career by teaching band and choir at Piney Grove Middle School in Lawsonville, NC. After a year, Schakel then transferred to teaching band at West Stokes High School in King, NC. While at West Stokes, Schakel taught two concert band classes, the Symphonic Band, and the Wind Ensemble, as well as Honors Music Theory, and Jazz Band. She was also the director of the Marching Wildcats. Schakel co-taught with Mr. Dylan Jones at Chestnut Grove Middle School as well. She has also mentored student teachers from Appalachian State University and UNCG. Her bands performed at numerous community events in Stokes County throughout the year. During her time at West Stokes, her bands have travelled to Washington D.C. to perform at the Jefferson Memorial. Her bands consistently receive Superior and Excellent ratings at state events. Many of her students consistently audition and make prestigious honor ensembles, such as All-County, Yadkin Valley Honor Band, All-District, and All-State bands.
Schakel is currently a member of NAfME, NCMEA, the Northwest NC Bandmasters Association, the National Band Association, and the Women Band Directors Association. She also maintains a private clarinet studio where her students consistently make prestigious honor ensembles. Schakel currently lives in Holly Springs, NC with her sweet border collie mix, Lillie. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, hiking, and cooking. She has a true passion for teaching music to kids. She believes that whether her students end up playing after graduation or not, her hope is that they have a heart for music and learn how to be productive and respectful members of society.