John Tebay was recently appointed as the new interim dean of the fine arts department this summer after Bob Jensen’s retirement. Although he is just starting as an administrator at Fullerton College, he has come a long way to this point in his career.
Tebay has a Bachelor of Music Education from Biola University and was involved in several organizations before coming to Fullerton College. He began his career in 1976 directing the music program as the minister of music and worship at Cavalry Church of Placentia. In 1981, he became the choral director at El Dorado High School in Placentia until he began his career at Fullerton College in 1985.
In his 30 years at FC, Tebay has been the director of choral studies, instructor for piano, voice and history of rock and roll and has overseen the six choirs available on campus.
However, before becoming the interim dean, he dealt with some hesitation.
Tebay’s wife, Debbie Tebay, was aware of the position available and encouraged him to apply for the position. She and the rest of the family had been encouraging him for the last 10 years, but his passion held him to his position.
“I love teaching,” said Tebay. “I didn’t want to leave the students to step into administration.”
Tebay teaches two choirs and promised he would be there during their next national convention. With this in mind, President Schulz allowed him to become interim dean, as well as continue to direct the choirs. It does add a heavier workload, but Tebay knew he was making the right choice.
“I wanted to make sure there was someone in this office to continue the support and help,” said Tebay.
Being the new interim dean, Tebay has a new and more demanding schedule to work with. Administration doesn’t have summer and winter breaks off and also doesn’t have the pleasure of having Fridays off. On the other hand, he does see the light in this major change in his career.
There is a sense of complete freedom to do whatever he thinks is best for the division. Tebay has the privilege to work with other faculty members in the department during any conflicts and do his best to resolve the issues and improve their teaching.
Moreover, the current staff working with Tebay is a group he believes is the best on campus. He said they are an intelligent, peaceful group that gets the job done when needed. His staff provides the assistance when needed.
“I always tell them that they’re the dean of the Fine Arts department,” said Tebay. “They’re just good people.”
Tebay is currently on a one-year appointment while the campus searches for a permanent dean, unless he decides to apply himself as the dean of fine arts. Although he currently does not have any plans for the division at this time, Tebay is prepared to step in if necessary.
“I’ll mostly serve the people here and help them do the best job they can do,” said Tebay. “I hope we are better employees today than we were yesterday.”