Director of Bands
Portage High School
Tom began teaching at Portage High School in the fall of 2004. He received his undergraduate degree in music education from UW-Madison (1993), studying conducting under Dr. James Smith and percussion under Dr. James Latimer. Tom attained his masters degree in education from Stevens Point (1999). Tom taught middle school band from 1993-2004 at Westfield, Wisconsin before becoming the Portage High School Band Director. Tom was recently named the 2017 Crystal Apple Award recipient given by NBC15’s WMTV to the top teacher in Wisconsin.
Tom has a history of providing great experiences for his band members. He takes his students to Florida to march in Disney World and Universal Studios every four years. His juniors and seniors travel to New York every two years. Tom started the marching band program at Portage in 2006 and began taking his band to competitive marching events. His students participate in the WSMA state marching band competitions each fall, attending 6-8 competitive events each season. In 2015 Tom’s band won best music in their class at the State Championships. His bands have been achieving higher scores in State competition each year under his direction. His bands have finished in the top 3 at the State Marching Band Competition the last 3 of 4 years. Tom took his band to march in the Chicago Thanksgiving Day parade in 2017 and 2019. Tom also directs the annual Portage High School musical and has won 2 Tommy Awards for best orchestra.
Tom has found success cultivating student leaders. He utilizes students extensively to become excellent drum majors, marching teachers, section leaders and morale captains. Mr. Shaver believes in the power of music. Music has beauty and complexity. It has the power to bring people together in wonderful ways. Through involvement in music we learn lessons that will provide meaning for our entire lives.
Tom Shaver is married to his wife Sara Shaver who is a marriage and family therapist and together they have three children, Abbie, Jamie and Joe. The Shaver family is very active in their community. Tom directs a church choir at St.Mary’s Catholic Church in Portage. He has been a member of the Madison Marimba Quartet since 1991. He provides music for the Portage VFW and the Concert Series at the Portage. Tom and his family have become involved with Sleep In Heavenly Peace and together they build and deliver beds for children who do not have a safe place to sleep.