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The Moores: A family making Arizona more musical

The Moores don’t just walk into a room. They tumble. Dean’s goofy smile, Trish’s explosive laugh, Cadence’s precocious attitude. It all begs to be syndicated for daytime TV, punctuated by a laugh track.

In 2011, Dean and Trish adopted Cadence. They relocated from Yuma to Tucson because they felt it was important that Cadence have her biological family in her life. In the past decade, Trish and Dean have both become fixtures of the community. Dean is the band director at Tucson High, and Trish teaches band and choir at Canyon View Elementary.

It takes a certain kind of person to dedicate their lives to arts education, especially in Arizona. Programs are underfunded and teachers receive minimal benefits. Those who care, teach. Those who care about making a difference in lives other than their own. Those who value people above “things”.

The Moores care. They see musical education as a crucial part of kids becoming multidimensional humans. It’s an opportunity to ignite a lifelong passion and find a deeper sense of purpose. At this moment, you may be teaching fifth graders Yankee Doodle on the recorder—but you are also teaching humility, empathy, and the nuance of inspiration.

Outside of class, the Moores prioritize giving Cadence a great childhood over everything else. They use their shared summer vacations to make memories as a family, frequently going to summer camps centered around Cadence’s numerous passions. Cadence’s extracurriculars currently include karate, vocal lessons, piano classes, tennis, and running a hospital for stuffed animals.

I don’t think Dean and Trish feel Cadence is destined to become potentially the world’s first martial arts master / professional singer-pianist / tennis all-star / doctor. I don’t think they even have expectations for her to become one of those things. But the Moores know that giving a kid the chance to pursue passions, even if it doesn’t become a career, is the most valuable thing they can provide. It’s what they do every day at work, and it’s what they do every day with Cadence when they get home.

The Moores are often running to the store to pick up odds and ends for both Cadence and their students: a pack of drumsticks, guitar strings, tennis balls. They typically use their Vantage West credit card. When I asked them, they said they’ve always been “credit union people.” They see credit unions as an extension of their values. Dean told me that it “always just made sense” to him.

That’s who the Moores are. The kind of people for whom doing the right thing doesn’t really seem like a choice. It just is the way it is.

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