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Parents, Students Upset, Teary Over Assistant Band Director Appointment

Tuesday's school board meeting was standing-room only—with several people speaking on the issue.

A former Big Mac Band Boosters officer stood up in the waning minutes of Tuesday’s Canon-McMillan school board meeting to tell directors she can see the program “just going down the drains.”

“You have upset a lot of people—live with it,” Donna Click told the board during the standing-room-only meeting at which a new elementary music teacher was hired—but not the one favored by band parents and students, one of whom presented directors with a petition to hire someone else.

That candidate, some said, was familiar with the program and the students in the band from her work as an elementary music teacher with the district—and that appointing her to assistant band director position would lend “consistency” after the resignation of Michael Lockman, who formerly held the position.

The board voted to hire Eric Schrader for the elementary music teacher position. There was no discussion by the board on the matter.

That vote passed with one director casting a no vote—Maureen Helinski.

When the meeting adjourned, the crowd filed out, with many of the attendees with tears in their eyes.

Dylan Foley February 22, 2013 at 03:45 AM
Like my fellow band members, I am also a former band member of Mr. Schrader's and I believe that Mr. Schrader is, without a doubt, qualified for this post. He is the best man for the job. You are lucky to have him. So quiet complaining.
Amanda Gillooly February 22, 2013 at 03:52 AM
Thanks everyone for your comments! At least one CM student I know said he is an awesome teacher.
Sara Tupper February 22, 2013 at 03:57 AM
He is, he is the best and I'm truly said he didn't finish out my senior year. You guys are lucky to have him as a director as we do not have one right now we just have a long term sub so give him a chance he doesn't disappoint we all promise he doesn't!
IvyTime February 22, 2013 at 04:00 AM
I had Mr. Schrader for band at Greenville as well. I saw this post, and I had to comment because Mr. Schrader and I did have our issues. We did not get along for various reasons (some my fault, some not) but he was still a good band director. He was good at teaching music and helped me pick audition pieces that got me into a pretty prestigious college band (I won't say which one). Even though he was not my favorite person exactly, he knows music and teaches it well.
Sad student February 22, 2013 at 04:04 AM
┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈ ┈┈┈┈◢▇◣┈┈◢▇◣┈┈ ┈┈┈┈▇▇▇◣◢▇▇▇┈┈┈ ┈┈┈┈◥▇▇▇▇▇▇◤┈┈┈ Schrader ┈┈┈┈┈┈◥▇▇◤┈┈┈┈┈ ┈┈┈┈┈┈┈◥◤┈┈┈┈┈┈ You guys should feel honored to have him, stop complaining because he is awesome.
Ghs band student February 22, 2013 at 04:14 AM
All I would like to say is that you people have no idea the kid of person Eric Schrader is. He is caring and supportive and non judge mental . As a former student who found out that her favorite teacher ever was leaving while she was in the hospital. I never got to say good bye. You dot know me but I have been depressed and suicidal since my freshman year ( I am now a junior) and one of the reasons I am alive to day is because of Eric Schrader. Some days the only person who talked to me was him. He always told me that life gets better and to not give up. I am just one example of how he has helped and cared for his students. If you don't believe me then there are about 700 of his other former students that will attest to it. And I can tell you one thing if the band students of Greenville jr sr high school could have it their way ten Eric Schrader would be back in our school teaching us about music and life and making us better people every day. But the sad thing is we don't Lalways get our way and life isn't fair. You people have no idea how jealous we are that your school has one of if not the best band director in the world.
Ghs band student February 22, 2013 at 04:15 AM
To explain to the comment about how he was a highschool and it is sucipous that he wants to be an elementary teacher: our school has experienced sever budget cuts and our elementary school has moved band to during the recess period and greenvilles elementary band experienced a large drop out rate ( what elementary kid wants to give up recess) an you know what me Schrader did? He went to the school and voulenteered to change his schedule around so that he could teach both the highschool ( 6 periods) and the elementary band (3 periods) so you see even though he didn't have an official title as an elementary band director he in fact was !
Mindi Douglas February 22, 2013 at 04:34 AM
I had Mr. Schrader as a teacher for 6 years. He was not only an amazing teacher, he also knew how to connect with students and help them to reach their potential. he knows music well and made Greenville's music program something to be proud of. He left Greenville for health reasons, and that is all. you can't judge someone without knowing their history or background. He may not be the person you wanted to get the job, but he is extremely qualified. If you judge him without giving him a chance, then you're a bunch of mindless and judgmental dimwits. Grow up and give him a chance. You guys don't even realize how lucky you are to have someone like him working at your school.
Crystal Hawk February 22, 2013 at 04:43 AM
I've known Mr. Schrader for 8 years now and he's the best director you could have. He was not only the high school director he also taught at the ELEMENTARY school as well. He also taught marching band and steel drum too. To me he wasn't just our teacher, he was a friend/one of us. He had personal bonds with everyone. He took his job seriously ya we'd joke around every now n then but it wasn't just a job to him. He wanted us all to succeed and he taught us that it's okay to be the outcast or the band geek. Personally i believe he made us one big family! He is such a great guy and deserves this job.
Former student February 22, 2013 at 05:06 AM
I was a student at Greenville high where Mr. Schrader has taught until just recently. He taught me every thing I know about music. I can sight read proficiently, and play several instruments.. In the three years I attended GHS, I went from not being able to read music to being able to play 7 different instruments and reading bass and treble clef. Please give him the chance he deserves, he is a fantastic teacher and I'm glad to say I know him. I promise you he won't let you down. Just give him a fair chance.
GHS Band Member February 22, 2013 at 05:09 AM
Mr. Schrader is a person, not an object, he has his own family and life. The job in Greenville just did not allow him enough time for those things, and in order to keep his own life he had to resign. I had Mr. Schrader for five years, and in those five years he taught his students that if you work together you can accomplish almost anything. I hope your school board, and parents will work with him and give him time, because I promise you that he will teach your students to become not only great musicians but wonderful young adults. He always greats his students with a smile and brings energy and life to a band. Mr. Schrader is more than qualified because he has taught every age group through his years. If Greenville's countless awards and steel drum band do not show you this, then I apologize. Give him time, and open your mind before your mouth.
GHS ALUMNI February 22, 2013 at 06:00 AM
I am a Greenville High School Alumni who happened to just graduate this past year in 2012. I have known Eric Schrader for eight years and can say that he is a fantastic director. Through out my high school career I participated in the Steel Drum Band, Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, and was a dancer in our marching band. I can honestly say band made up the majority of my high school career. But I was also involved in everything else you could possibly imagine from yearbook, choir, theater, to cheerleading. You often don't hear about cheerleaders who are also in the band.. But Mr. Schrader made it possible. I made some sacrifices like having to quit steel drum because I had to much on my plate. But Mr. Schrader was totally understanding. He understands that we all have different interests. He supported us in whatever we wanted to do whether it was cheerleading or playing on a sports team while still making all his students have a passion for music as welll. Not to mention that the Greenville Music Department is one of the best in Mercer County. Because of Eric Schrader the marching band and concert band perform college level drills and pieces and the steel drum band has gone to both state and national conferences. I am now attending college at Clarion University and am purposely not participating in the music program here because my high school band was and is more advanced then the music department here. GHS music department won't be the same without him. Give him a chance.
Katherine Thompson February 22, 2013 at 11:52 AM
Mr Schrader is the best teacher anyone at Greenville ever had. We all have our own crazy memories with him. He wasnt just out teacher, he was part of our family. He is the greatest band director anyone could wish to have. He left a permanent impact on everyone at Greenville and will continue to do so wherever he will go. Everyone at Greenville loves you Schrader. <3
Braeleigh Knierman February 22, 2013 at 12:54 PM
It's pathetic to think that those of you from McMillan can't except change. As a student from greenville we experience it a lot. And Schader is a wonderful director. We don't have the money and blah blah that you have. Honestly it was sad for us when Schader left to but we are getting over it so seriously please be more welcoming to change.
GHS Band kp February 22, 2013 at 12:55 PM
Whoa! Ok so your telling me that he isn't qualified and he's not a good teacher that's bull! Do you know how many competitions he got us too and we won?! I will personally take a picture of all the trophies, plaques, state band stars, etc. and show you what mr. Schafer is capable of! You have no idea how amazing he is so STOP JUDGING HIM BEFORE YOU MEET HIM!!! He is the best director you could ever get at your school so you're lucky! Get your facts straight cause teaching kids how to pick up an instrument and read music is his life! He taught at our school for 15 years and I've known him for 5 years. He's taught us so much and made the bandroom a safe haven. He made the band a family and you saying he's not qualified is seriously the stupidest thing ever. He is beyond qualified for this job so just stop complaining and be greatful for having him!
band parent February 22, 2013 at 01:09 PM
Hey folks -- expected a bunch of comments from Greenville High band members supporting their former director -- EVEN THOUGH he left a month before your band trip! The fact is...noone at CM knows Mr. Schrader BUT everyone at CM and Greenville should know that it was the CM school board hiring process that is in question. The CM school board is OK with hiring upper management with only CM experience (therefore, no vision because he/she has never been exposed to other school districts), but when it comes to hiring an individual teacher... why would they ever think to consider moving up a talented, dedicated, proven teacher...???!!! Instead, one board member decided to bring in "his guy". The CM elementary general music teacher deserved the instrumental position and Mr. Schrader could have been hired for the general music position. To Greenville High Band...hope your trip and remainder of the school year go well musically. We understand that many of you are upset that your director left, but remember, we are upset with the process, especially the power that one school board member had to manipulate the system!
Nicki McClimans February 22, 2013 at 02:07 PM
No one is manipulating the system here. The school board is just trying to give the students their best musical experience. Mr. Schrader will DEFINITELY provide that for his new students. But he will need students cooperation and understanding that this will be just as hard for him as it will be for them. Mr. Schrader's teaching style is INSTRUMENTS. He's a BAND TEACHER. General music would not have made him happy. Music is his life but its instruments where he succeeds. He deserves it. Get to know him.
Braeleigh Knierman February 22, 2013 at 03:00 PM
I'm really happy that Schader loves canon McMillan. He's happy there. And I hope he stays happy there. All of the band students at greenville miss him. Everyone from concert band to the steel drum band to the band front. It's sad that he left us and there are so many people at our school who were ignorant to him. I just wish the people at McMillan wouldn't be ignorant too. He truly loved his students here and he left because of reasons that were on his control not because he was being involved in a sneaky situation. He would never do anything to harm any of your students or your school district he tries to always keep everyone's beat interest in mind. Being as all of his students here at greenville loved him. Please be kind and considerate to the great gift you and your music department has been given because it is truly a blessing that you have him.
Braeleigh Knierman February 22, 2013 at 03:00 PM
He left because of situations out of his control.
Band kid February 22, 2013 at 06:10 PM
You people are pathetic that you are putting down the one guy that wants to help your band! Your parents for goodness sake!! Grow up have you ever asked your children what they think of him? He had a heart attack last year because of stress he doesn't need anymore so stop saying he isn't qualified! We would appreciate him back if you don't want him. What we would do to get our favorite teacher back you don't know. So please stop saying he isn't qualified because he is..
Greenvillian February 22, 2013 at 08:22 PM
I'm sorry CM, but I'm sure your school board knows what they are doing. Who cares how Mr. Schrader found your lovely school? I'm sure you would have loved for your general elementry music teacher to have moved on and she is very qualified from what I hear, but I know everyone has their niche and Shrade's is instrumental music. CM had to hire someone, and Shrade Im sure was the most qualified so CM had to decide to put people in the right spot so they can help your students succeed and grow. If you give him the chance I know from experience he will change all your students lives for the better and help them grow musically. You just need to trust your school board.
Amanda Gillooly February 22, 2013 at 09:18 PM
One comment was deleted because it contained profanity. Just wanted to explain. Thank you for your comments and for keeping it civil.
Ghs student February 22, 2013 at 09:57 PM
I think Mr. Schrader was an excellent band director and teacher. I have never seen so many people influenced by a single person. On the day he told us that he had to leave because of his health issues, more people were crying there than at a funeral. We all loved him so much, and all wished we were students at his new school. We thought you were the luckiest people in the world to be getting him. And for you all to complain about a blessing like him? You should be thankful for the wonderful opportunity your kids will have with him. He has put hard work into everything he does more than anyone else I've seen. Like everyone else said, STOP JUDGING HIM. What we would give to even spend one more week with him.
Amanda Gillooly February 22, 2013 at 11:40 PM
RoQue - I deleted our comment because it contained name calling and a personal threat. If you'd like to rephrase and repost please do.
Ghs student February 23, 2013 at 03:36 AM
And by the way 'band parent' he didn't want to leave us before our band trip. He had to for health reasons, and that is completely understandable when it is that life threatening. But thanks to previous guidance from him, we are still able to go and have fun and be the amazing band that he has made us.
Concern CM Voter February 23, 2013 at 04:03 AM
Enough with this I get you all are upset with what happen. Greenville we get what you are saying C-M got a great person. C-M we get your upset with how Schrader got hired. It is time to move on time will tell how Schrader will fit or not fit into Canon Mac. Concern CM Voter
Pam Jox February 23, 2013 at 01:33 PM
Just want you to know that he was hired as the Elementary School Instrumental Band Teacher and the ASSISTANT high school band director. Mr. Falvo is THE BAND DIRECTOR. Please stop referring to him as the band director because he is one of the ASSISTANT directors.
BIgMacBandproud February 23, 2013 at 09:48 PM
WOW! This site is quiet for almost a month, and now it explodes with rave reviews for Mr. Schrader. What most of these people are missing is that we are upset with the PROCESS by which he was hired as the Elementary School Instrumental Band Teacher.( who assists the high school director, Mr. Falvo, during first period.) It is not about bashing the new hire. Just as Mr. Schrader has his followers, so does the current CM elementary music educator who was most definitely qualified and supported by her peers, students, and parents. Those recommendations fell on deaf ears at the board meeting, because the decision was already made. One board member has wanted Mr. Schrader in the CM band program for years, and now he has his buddy in position, but to what cost? Mr. Schrader may be great based on all of his supporters' notes, and that is wonderful. We feel the same way about our CURRENT directors, one of whom has been bypassed by the district because of political alliances. Politics as usual at CM. I wonder if this situation will lead to yet another legal battle for the taxpayers to cover? To tell us to trust our school board is naive; look what Greenville's board did to their prior high school director....and his health. It is agreed that only time will tell just how this plays out.
Susy Hogan February 25, 2013 at 01:59 AM
Right on! And yes, I am from Greenville.
Susy Hogan February 25, 2013 at 02:07 AM
Oh and by the way, he's not very good with elementary students.

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