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John Calahan to be full-time instructor at Murray

Creston's loss is Murray's gain.

Creston School District shares a contract with Murray Community School District for John Calahn, elementary band instructor.

Calahan accepted a full-time position with Murray for the 2013-14 school year.

Tears ran down people's faces during a special Creston School Board meeting May 23. The issue: music department staffing.

In the end, Creston School Board decided, with a 3-1 vote, on a path for the music department. A full-time instrumental teacher will be added to the staff to smooth the transition into full-time music staff for the 2014-15 school year. Boardmember Sharon Snodgrass voted no.

What caused the music department to be in the crosshairs? According to Chuck Scott, interim superintendent, the department is "potentially overstaffed."

"Creston's music department is potentially overstaffed when factoring in the shared teachers from other districts, and when we have two teachers in a classroom where one is needed," Scott stated in a memo to the board.

Scott continued to explain what he meant by "potentially overstaffed."

"I've worked in probably seven or eight shool districts," said Scott. "This district has more teachers than any other district per pupil than I've ever served. We are not short on teachers in this district. We are fortunate that we have talented people, dedicated. I don't see anyone complaining, but with all the hands we have, I have to conclude we aren't very effective, and we're not gettting the job done."

For the 2012-13 school year, district vocal music teachers were Marilyn Bohnker and Deb Fischer, full-time, and Mary Lange, 80 percent. Jane Warner and Mike Peters were full-time instrumental teachers, and Calahan and Patrick Oswald were 50 and 60 percent, respectively.

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