Meeting on band future Thursday

The Vandalia Board of Education will meet in special session on Thursday to consider the future of the district band program.
The agenda for that meeting, which will be held at 8 p.m. in the district board room, includes a discussion of the “district band direction for 2014-15.” Presumably, that means that the public will be invited to make comments about its desires for the program.
Then, two items are on the agenda for board action:
• Approve resignation. It’s likely that this is the resignation of Vandalia Junior High School band instructor Sara Berg, who last week told The Leader-Union that she has accepted the band director position in Altamont. However, at the time of the May 20 school board meeting, she had not yet submitted a formal resignation to the board.
• Approve recommendation for 2014-15 district band. The board and administration have advocated for a single band instructor for the district’s program (fifth grade through high school).
That preference resulted in the elimination of high school band instructor Tony Hicks’ position more than a year ago.
Funding to keep that position (about $60,000 per year) was raised by the Vandalia Band Boosters organization to support the position during the 2013-14 school year, and another $60,000 has been raised for the 2014-15 school year.
However, after a year of working under uncertain funding conditions, Hicks announced this spring that he has accepted a similar position in the Meridian Community School District.
Thus, with Berg’s resignation, the district currently has no band instructors.

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