Briana Link Family

              “Mrs. Briana Link’s students perform beautifully. That takes hard work, time, and attention to detail. I think she is amazing!” – Leah Sullins

                “The music department encourages students to love music! They put so much into the spring season.” – Delanie Rinne

                Mrs. Briana Link, Licking R-VIII School District’s Choir & Band Director, has been nominated by her colleagues as Spotlight Staff Member of the Month because of her dedication to expanding the district’s music education program.

                Mrs. Link graduated from high school in West Plains where she studied under an exceptional choir director, Mrs. Kelly Dame, who Mrs. Link refers to as “a legacy” because of her influence on students over the past fifty years. Mrs. Link also credits the influence of the assistant director, Mr. David Hall. While in high school, Mrs. Link was friends with “senior big brother”, Ian Tapson, who was in choir with her and later attended Missouri State for music education. Ian would bring Mrs. Link cds of the choir to listen to and encouraged Mrs. Link to attend college at MSU. Mrs. Link knew she was passionate about pursuing a career in music. She graduated high school in 2009 and continued her education at Missouri State University in Springfield. Mrs. Link participated in Concert Chorale under the direction of Guy Bedford Webb, well known internationally for choral directing excellence, for four years. She was student director of the A Capella group, A Cup Bella, a member of Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority, and vice president of public relations and recruitment for Alpha Sigma Alpha. Mrs. Link graduated college with her undergraduate degree in 2013 and continued another year to earn her master’s degree in 2014. During that time, Mrs. Link worked as a graduate assistant and choral conductor offsetting her school expenses.

                In 2014, Licking R-VIII School District was fortunate to recruit Mrs. Link as a music teacher where she immediately applied her passion for music. In her first few years with the district, Mrs. Link taught elementary and secondary grades, but for the past two years, Mrs. Link has worked with secondary students adding the title, band director, to her repertoire. Although Mrs. Link didn’t study instrumental music in college, she was up for the challenge! “Band challenges me to be a better musician,” said Mrs. Link. Collaborating with the elementary music teachers the past two years, Mrs. Link has been able to grow involvement in music programs and build relationships with students to build enthusiasm for participation in both choir and band.

                “Our students do everything,” Mrs. Link noted. “It’s hard for them to make time for all the things they are involved in, so we understand the need to be flexible with their schedules.” Mrs. Link notices students’ progress throughout the year and celebrates that growth in concerts and contests available in the region and state. Mrs. Link is no stranger to a busy schedule. In addition to full time teaching, practicing after hours for concerts and contests, and hosting public events, Mrs. Link has served as the district’s cheerleading coach for the past eight years. This year, Mrs. Link added Drama Club to her list of duties and directed an outstanding spring play with talented student actors.

                When asked about musical influence in her own family, Mrs. Link credits her grandfather for his genetic influence. “My grandpa sings and plays instruments, and my aunts on both sides of the family and very musically inclined,” reflected Mrs. Link. Mrs. Link credits these family members for early inspiration. These days, she notices when students say, “I wish we had”, when referring to extra-curricular opportunities. “I want that for them,” Mrs. Link said, commenting on high school experiences available for students in our small town. “I didn’t have some of these opportunities when I was in high school,” she noted.

                Mrs. Link shares her love of music with her own son, Wade, now one year old. Proud wife to Dylan Link for five years, this couple celebrates time together with their small family. Both from single children households, Mr. and Mrs. Link cherish the time they have raising their son and bringing him to school events. Mrs. Link is the daughter of her beloved parents, Suzanne and Bill Adams, who have been married 39 years, and she says she is blessed to have her in-laws, Peggy and Chris Link. When she’s not busy at school and community events, Mrs. Link says her family enjoys spending time at the river. Mrs. Link still practices her craft as a performer and was casted as the lead in Beauty and the Beast in West Plains in 2019.

                Mrs. Link is known to the community as an extraordinarily hard worker and mentor to students. Her vision for the fine arts department has built tremendous pride in Licking R-VIII School District, and for these reasons, we are proud to highlight Mrs. Link as this month’s Spotlight Staff Member.