Meet Our Music Educators

March is Music in Our Schools Month! We recognize the importance of music education for all students and celebrate our music educators, who ensure the high quality of music programs at Garfield High School!


Blake Saunders (he/him/his): Sup, I am lucky enough to teach Choir, Drumline, and Musical Theater here at Garfield! This is my 4th year at GHS, but you may have seen me teaching at Washington Middle School before that. I am passionate about working with students through accessible art and uplifting student voices as they claim their educational journey! On my own time, I love to play board games with friends, D&D once a month, and perform with Blue Thunder at Seahawks games! Rock on. (bbsaunders@seattleschools.org)


Jared Sessink: I’ve been a band director in Seattle Schools for 7 years (3 at Washington Middle School, 4 at Garfield High School). I grew up in Michigan and attended Central Michigan University for Music Education graduating in 2014. Teaching music is my passion because it allows young people the space to build powerful collaborative communities and offer unique experiences that are not often found in other parts of the school system. I teach Music Survey, Concert Band, Symphonic Band, and two Jazz Ensembles at Garfield. (jasessink@seattleschools.org)


Mike Sundt: Hello! I’ve been teaching band for several years, including the last 4 in Seattle. I work as the assistant director in Garfield’s Jazz program, teaching Jazz Ensemble 3. During the school day, I teach Band and Jazz at Washington Middle School. I studied music at Central Michigan University, primarily playing double bass in their orchestra and jazz ensembles. Outside of school, I enjoy exploring the beauty of the PNW and spending time with my wife and cats! (mjsundt@seattleschools.org)


Bryan Kolk: I am a music educator, conductor, and bassist from Michigan. It has been a joy to be here in Seattle for the past five years where I’ve been teaching our Freshman, Concert, and Symphony Orchestras as well as our two levels of Guitar. I also direct for the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras as well as the West Seattle Community Orchestras, and perform with several area orchestras to keep my chops up. I absolutely love working with students to explore their personal musicianship, long-term goal-setting, and sense of pride in teamwork as we work to create more beauty to the world!

UPDATE: Bryan Kolk departed Garfield after 2022-23. We wish him the best!


Thank you for all that you do! “Music Is All of Us!’