My Daughter, Abigail Herring wrote the following letter to the Randolph BOE last week (June 14), she and a large group of students attended the BOE meeting to speak regarding this subject.
Dear Ms. Fano, The Board of Education, and to whomever this may concern,
My name is Abigail Herring, and I am a freshman here at RHS. This year has been very hard for me in terms of adjusting to a new high school environment. I signed up for choir hoping I would find something that I could depend on. As soon as I walked into the choir room on day one of high school, I had a new family. I have found great comfort in the music program here at RHS. A change that was hard and very challenging for me was made easier by the amazing music staff. Mr. Swiss has been so very kind to me and all my peers. Additionally, outside of Treble Choir I have had the opportunity to work with Ms. May, Mr. Schaberg, and many others through programs such as the fall play, the spring musical, Poptoberfest, cabret, and field trips. I have fallen in love with music and the music program here at RHS. Participating in these extra musical activities is What I Live For.
I understand from what I've heard from my teachers and mentors that the last few years for the RHS music department has been troubling to say the least. The teachers I look up to are not getting paid for the hard after school work they are doing. I'm sure you know that many of the opportunities that were offered to students in years past will, as of now, not not be available to students in the 2018-2019 school year. These activities (including, but not limited to) are, Poptoberfest, Educational Musical Field Trips, and new (and very terrible) version of Cabaret, After School Solo Auditions, the music honors program, participation in extracurricular choirs such as Allstate choir and county choir, and after school use of practice rooms. These programs are not continuing because my teachers, the people who I look up to, are simply not getting payed for all the extra after school work that they do.
Today, June 14, 2018, all of my music teachers gathered in front of the choir and told us something that was unimaginably hard to hear. We were told that the programs that students have been looking forward to all year long, and the programs we love would not occur in the 2018-2019 school year. As this statement was read to the choir, I, as well as many others started to cry. This department means the world to not just me, but the past, present, and future students of RHS. The money that teachers like Mr. Swiss and Ms. May were getting paid in years past enabled them to run all of these wonderful programs at RHS. After this payment was stopped, they continued to run these programs for the benefit of their students.
Now the final straw has been placed on the camel's back. For my teachers it is necessary that they stop offering these programs unless they are compensated for all the hard work and hours they put in. We urge you to compensate our teachers and to help rebuild these beloved programs we have lost. If you simply cannot do it for the teachers benefit, please do it for the students at RHS who would be lost without these amazing educators who have dedicated their time, money and lives to their students.
On behalf of the RHS Treble Choir, I thank you for your continued support of our program.
Sincerely, Abigail Herring