- School Board agrees to re-start band program
The number of students taking band has dwindled over the past decade, and high school band and choir teacher Mark Wayer retired at the end of this year.
But Goins said money wasn’t the only deciding factor for the district’s move.
“We also realize there’s a strong support in this community for a band program,” Goins said. “This is an opportunity for us to start over and rebuild the band program.”
The job will be posted, and qualified applicants will be interviewed before the school board votes to hire anyone.
Goins said the specifics of what programs will be offered at what grade levels still need to be worked out. He said he will seek input from the new teacher and others in the community to design the program.
“It’s a clean slate for us. We want to get it right,” Goins said. “We want to get input from as many folks as we can.”
Leigh Caldwell, president of the Dist. 168 Fine Arts Boosters parent group, said she is “thrilled” with the school board’s decision.
“I have spent nearly two years talking with school board members, Dr. Goins and other school officials about the importance of music instruction in our schools, with many other parents alongside me,” Caldwell said. “They have consistently told me they want to rebuild a strong band program, and that when the time is right, they would act. I am so thankful today that they have kept that promise.”
Caldwell, who in the interest of disclosure is also the editor of the Daily American, said the booster group will continue to raise funds to support fine arts teachers and students in West Frankfort, and continue to lobby school officials for program expansion.
FCHS Principal Bethany Shaw has previously announced that band will not be offered as an elective class at the high school in the coming school year, but will be offered as an extracurricular activity.
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