Hi, I’m Jess Thompson.
I am a high school music teacher (band), and I’m also adjunct clarinet professor at our local university.  I’m happily married (to another band director!), and we are the parents of two wonderful kids – both girly-girls!

Pat and I are pleased to be able to put together this humble tribute to Dr. Dennis Hayslett, our most inspirational teacher.  I am indebted to many teachers in my life, but none more than Dr. H.  His “tough-love” type of discipline, his incredible knowledge, and his unique ability to push every student to the highest level of achievement have been the main reason for my success in this field.  I rely every day upon the things I learned from him, and I am deeply thankful for his commitment to my ongoing growth as well as his mentorship over the years.  Thanks Dr. H!

My name is Pat Jones – partner in crime with Jess above!  I am a professional performing musician (trombone and euphonium) as well as a band and orchestra director at the high school and middle school level.  I’m extremely busy as a wife, mother, teacher, performer, and part-time personal trainer.  Next to my family, I spend most of my time involved in the incredibly demanding field of music education.  Every single day I strive to learn as much as I can, and to get better at what I do – an attitude that I learned from my own band director, Dr. Dennis Hayslett.  Dr. Hayslett’s constant encouragement (actually, most of the time my stubborness made him resort to threatening and nagging!) and his insistence upon the “pursuit of excellence” (as he called it) has inspired me to never let up until I have done my best.  He could easily have been an Olympic coach – but I always looked upon him as an incredibly caring father figure.  I love you, Dr. H – you’re in my prayers every day!
About us!
Hi!  I'm definitely a late-comer to this project, but I HAD to become involved with Jess and Pat.  All of us have learned SO much from the MASTER!  Of all the teachers I've had, Dr. Hayslett has had the biggest impact on me.  All of his sayings ring in my ears to this day!  His high standards were a shock to me at first - no one had ever made me work so hard!  I soon came to realize that striving to become the best that you can be ... everyday ... is what it's all about.

I simply do not know where I would be without this wonderful man's leadership and guidance.  He pushed me when I needed it - he cared about my progress when I felt that no one else did - and he has ALWAYS been there when I've needed him to be.  I know that if I need help with anything at any time, I can rely upon him.  I'm here now just to finally give him all the credit for all my successes in life, and to help find other former students who can re-connect with him.

Give Jess a call - or email her, and she will give you all the updated information regarding Dr. H and his family.  She and Pat are the real masterminds behind this web project.  I hope that even more of you can stop by here to share your stories and memories!  We love you, Dr. Hayslett!

Jennifer Smith, M.M.Ed., Univ. of Michigan