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Quincy Senior High School Music Director Kathi Dooley Becomes 'Queer Eye' Star

Longtime Quincy Senior High School music director Kathi Dooley talked about her experience on Netflix's "Queer Eye" show on "St. Louis on the Air."
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio
Longtime Quincy Senior High School Music Director Kathi Dooley talked about her experience on Netflix's "Queer Eye" show on St. Louis on the Air.

Kathi Dooley was set in her ways when it came to her looks and career; she knew what she loved and stuck with it. The longtime music director at Quincy Senior High School has a passion for helping students expand their artistic horizons, all while rocking the same hairstyle for more than 40 years. 

But all that changed last October when a former student of Dooley’s made a return to Quincy, Illinois, to switch up her routine. Jonathan Van Ness is a 2004 graduate of Quincy Senior High School, and he pitched for his beloved teacher, and her late 1970s mullet, to be featured on the hit Netflix series “Queer Eye.”

Van Ness is best known for his role as the hair expert on the show, where he and the rest of the “Fab 5” transform people’s lives – and bridge social divides – with inspiring lifestyle makeovers.

Watch: Behind the scenes of "Queer Eye" Season 4, Ep. 1 with Kathi Dooley

During the filming of the “Queer Eye” episode, Dooley experienced even bigger changes to her life than just a haircut. She joined St. Louis on the Air host Sarah Fenske to talk about her experience on the show and how she’s keeping up with her new ‘do. 

“The whole experience was very, very reflective,” Dooley said on Friday’s program. While she made the decision to retire from Quincy Public Schools after the upcoming 2019-2020 school year, Dooley still plans on being a vital asset to the district. 

“I just feel like [I] have too much to give yet, too much energy and too much passion for the [music] program; and the people of Quincy have been so good to me, so it’ll be a great way to give back,” she added.

Listen to the full discussion: 

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill, Lara Hamdan and Alexis Moore. The engineer is Aaron Doerr, and production assistance is provided by Charlie McDonald.

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Lara is a producer for "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.

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