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Disappointed / Upset / Frustrated

March 27, 2014
Emmetsburg News

To the Editor:

Because of the recent resignations of music teachers at Emmetsburg School and the School Board meeting on 02-19-2014, I have been so disappointed, upset and frustrated with the decision of NOT replacing the Middle School Band Director and cutting back with the Music Program so drastically at Emmetsburg School.

What is the Administration at Emmetsburg School thinking of taking this action? Talk about shooting yourself in the foot---not to have a separate Middle School Band Instructor? Look at what Mr. Dave Ballman has done and you aren't allowing the Middle School to continue to have their own music program? Instead, you want a 5th 12th grade band program. No instructor can have that much of a work load. So, the students will no longer be able to have individual band lessons, instead they will have to have group lessons. Mr. Aaron Phillips is only human and he will not be able to do it all.

I was in band from eighth grade through college and what great music directors and music education I received and thus music has been a part of my life well into my Medicare years!!!

I would wager that Mr. Fog's position as Freshman Football coach is filled by a new coach, beings as Mr. Fog is leaving EHS. Have you counted the assistant coaches listed on the football programs? Last time I counted there were 11 of them!!!! But is Emmetsburg School going to replace Mr. Dave Ballman as Middle School Band Director---supposedly not. What a mistake to be cutting back on the fine arts programs at Emmetsburg School as the Administration is doing. Wrestling rooms/ weight rooms etc. etc. can be built, but is a Middle School Band Director going to be replaced.? Most likely not---where are your Priorities?

Then, the thought process of eliminating Marching Band----what are you thinking of? So, the St. Pat's parade that we just had on 03-15-2014, the combined Middle School/High School bands would NOT be in the parade!!! Really? What a terrible mistake.

The Middle School would no longer be able to go to Algona Band Days (where they have gotten 1st or 2nd place for many years), nor would they go to the Tulip Festival in Orange City or even worse yet-NOT even have the bands march in EHS's own Homecoming Parade. Gee, that is really E-Hawk Pride!!!!!

You would think that the Band Boosters have been asking to raise enough money to march in the Rose Bowl Parade in CA. They only go as far as Algona and Orange City---but you feel that you can save the almighty dollar by cutting the marching band and not hiring a Middle School Band Instructor. There is an active Band Boosters, just like the vocal boosters and the E-Hawk Booster Club.

There are some athletes who will be involved in sports during their college years, but after college will they go on playing sports into their Medicare years? Most likely not---Again students who are involved in music will more than likely continue with music in college, but many of those will take that music ability and probably use their music background into their Medicare years. For example: community band/giving piano lessons/ church choirs/church pianists and organists and the list goes on and on.

I'm afraid that this letter will probably NOT solve a thing, but I needed to voice my feelings. I think the Administration's decision not to replace Mr. Dave Ballman is the biggest mistake that has taken place in the Emmetsburg School System.

Please reconsider the consequences and that the students are the ones who are going to be penalized by taking this action. Is that what you want to have happen?

Respectfully submitted,

(signed) Janis Campbell

Emmetsburg, IA



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