GLOVERSVILLE - Parents, students and teachers addressed the Gloversville Enlarged School District Board of Education on Tuesday to share their displeasure with the transfer of a music teacher from the high school to the middle school.
The board had decided to transfer Maggie Savage, a high school music teacher and a specialist in vocal training, to a position at the middle school for the coming school year. A teacher who had been at the middle school would take her place.
According to some parents, this is a bad move.
GHS graduate Timothy Veeder, a music teacher in White Plains, speaks Tuesday to the Gloversville school board about the swapping of two music teachers between the high school and middle school.
The Leader-Herald/Arthur Cleveland
Nancy Walrath, mother of a Gloversville High School student, said Savage's specialty in vocal training is better used in the high school.
"With the high school vocal teacher's many years of service to Gloversville High School, it's very hard for me to imagine why she was being transferred to the middle school," Walrath said. "I understand she has a wonderful background as a vocal teacher."
Timothy Veeder, a 1999 Gloversville High graduate who now is a music teacher at White Plains Middle School, said he was concerned about the shift.
"You are ripping something away from these students. You're preventing them from being successful in college musical programs," Veeder said.
Veeder also said he is concerned about the timing. The decision was made one month before school starts, giving the teachers only a few weeks to prepare a new curriculum.
Interim Superintendent Clifford Moses said it's not unheard of for staffing changes to be made over the summer and for newly assigned teachers to make plans on short notice.
Veeder showed the board a petition with more 200 names expressing concern about the move.
Walrath said students and parents have a high opinion of Savage.
"She has been a mentor. She has always gone beyond what she has to do as a teacher," Walrath said. "She has taught and supported my daughter in many of her endeavors."
Veeder said when the two teachers switch positions, there could be an "exodus" from the vocal music program, which could cause overcrowding in other classes and damage the vocal music program.
Moses said he believes those with an interest in music would stay in the program regardless of the teacher.
In other news, the Board of Education approved a extension to a contract with Blue Line Commuter to transport a special-needs student to the LaSalle School from Sept. 6 to June 30 at a cost of $310 a day. Moses said that rate would be less expensive than using the district's own bus and driver to transport the student.
Also, McNab Elementary School will change its start time. The doors to the school will open at 8:25 a.m., 25 minutes later than last year. Parents are asked not to drop off their children earlier than 8:25 a.m.