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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.

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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