BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — To his two children, he’s called “Dad”.

But in this room, he’s called “Mr. Hernandez, the band director”– a title that has earned him respect, though his actions have provided much more than a title. 

8th Grade Student Penelope Smith

“He treats us like a real person. A lot of other teachers just see their students as a student, but he sees us as other people and he just makes music so, so fun.”

Band Director at Cato Middle School Daniel Hernandez said, “Yes, I’m going to be marching in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York City as part of a group called the Michael D Sewell Foundation based off of remembering a former band director from Pickerington, Ohio. And we’re honoring his legacy by getting this group together, a group of about 400 band directors all from all over the United States.” 

This isn’t the first time that Mr. Hernandez has performed in a parade, either. He also has the Rose Parade among other items in his long portfolio. 

Being from Bakersfield, he’s giving back his talents to the community that once served him. 

“I take no credit for Mr. Hernandez’s expertise, but yes, he was my student in eighth grade when I taught at Chapman Junior High School. Daniel was one of those unique teachers in that he embodies professionalism, has a heart of gold and a great sense of humor. So kids at this age group just love being in his class.,” according to BCSD Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator Michael Stone.