By Pam Robinson
The Mount Vernon School Board was happy to grant permission for the Mount Vernon High School Vocal Music Dept. to stage a special Sunday performance next year in New York City. On April 7, 2013, vocal music students will perform composer Christopher Tin’s “Calling All Dawns” at Lincoln Center.
Dana Taylor, Director of the MVHS Fine Arts Academy and the Vocal Music Dept., said 24 students will be leaving from St. Louis on Thursday, April 4, for New York, and will return the following Monday. The New York City company, Distinguished Arts International, will host the concert as part of fulfilling its mission to match high school, collegiate and community choirs with known conductors for performances in high profile New York venues.
The MVHS public performance at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall will be the New York debut for “Calling All Dawns.” MVHS vocal music students are looking forward to once again seeing composer Christopher Tin, who will travel to the performance.
The 24 MVHS vocal music students will spend most of the day in rehearsal Friday and Saturday as well as Sunday morning before their afternoon performance. Taylor said the students will have limited time for sightseeing, but hope to catch a Broadway play, perhaps, and get to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
All 24 students will be paying their own way to New York. So far, Taylor said, around $2,500 has been donated to help defray the cost of the trip for every participant. The money will be split evenly among the students to help pay their fees. Ambitious as ever, Taylor has set the goal of trying to raise privately a total of $10,000 for the trip. He welcomes donations of any amount, but thinks it would be “lovely” if a couple of people would step up with $2,000 each.
In other business:
•Supt. Tom Kopatich provided an A-F grading update for the district, based on the Indiana Dept. of Education’s official report. As he expected and reported a couple of weeks ago, Farmersville and Marrs received A’s while West, MVJHS and MVHS received C’s. The district overall received a C, but MSD of Mount Vernon officials have noticed an apparent error in the computation of the grade. Officials believe the district earned a B and are appealing the state’s report.
In speaking with the district’s Director of Curriculum, Jody Pfister, she provided the specific point totals determining each school’s grade: Farmersville, 4.0; Marrs, 4.0; West, 2.50; MVJHS, 2.25; and MVHS, 2.95 (just a fraction of a point away from 3.0, or a B). She emphasized that when she adds the state’s enumerator for language arts for the elementary and junior high models and uses the state’s denominator and divides, she gets an 80.6 percent total for the district overall, not the 79.1 percent the state has reported. Whereas the state reports a 2.84 point total for the district then, school officials believe the district weighs in with a 3.0. “It’s just that close,” Pfister says.
•The board approved the wage and benefit packages for the 2012-13 school year and 2013 for administrative office secretaries, food services, information systems, maintenance foreman, management and non-unit personnel, school secretaries and teacher assistants. The wage and benefit packages for these personnel did not change from last year.
•The board confirmed the employment of Kristal Epley as MVHS assistant girls’ swim coach (one-half stipend) and Matthew Johnson as MVHS assistant boys’ swim coach (one-half stipend).
•The board accepted resignations from Ralph Turner as a bus driver and Suzanne Turner as a bus attendant and sub bus driver, both effective December 21, 2012.
•The board terminated the Hedges Central rental lease agreement between Ivy Tech Community College and the MSD of Mount Vernon, effective October 31, 2012, as requested.
•The board granted permission to the Mount Vernon Swim Cub to use the pool and surrounding areas Sunday, December 2, 2012, and to the American Cancer Society to use the football stadium and surrounding parking lots on Sunday, June 2, 2013.
•The board granted permission for the following student Sunday activities in addition to the MVHS Vocal Music Dept. performance at Lincoln Center:
•Angelus to perform on November 18, 2012, at Mount Pleasant Church (Mount Vernon) and on January 20, 2013 at the Church of the Cross (Dallas) and at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church (Fort Worth).
•The Technical Theatre students to participate in the Peppermint Pops Concert with the Evansville Philharmonic on December 2, 2012.
•The Chamber Choir, Cul, and Angelus to perform at St. Matthew Church (Mount Vernon) on December 9, 2012, for the winter concert.
•The board recognized the MVHS Marching Band for an outstanding season widely known and appreciated in the community. The band received a gold rating at the state regional competition recently to advance to the state semifinals, including the top 20 C Class bands in the state. In semifinal competition, the band received 14th place.
The Mount Vernon School Board will meet again Monday, November 19, 2012, 5:45 p.m., in the junior high media center.
By Pam Robinson
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