- Grove City, Pennsylvania

Local News

July 11, 2014

Public questions Rock band director's position

SLIPPERY ROCK — Slippery Rock school board members on Monday heard from several people who were concerned about the marching band director's position, which has been opened up for anyone to apply.

They said they don't understand why school officials would want to replace Les Fine, the last person who held the position; he also teaches in the district.

Ruth Dorrier of Harrisville, who is also president of the band boosters, told the board that students and parents came to Monday's meeting looking for more information about marching band, especially since they were given no notice that practices had yet to be scheduled.

There are "many rumors" going around about why Fine is no longer the marching band director, and the parents and kids want answers because he did a great job, Dorrier said.

Diane Gieraltowski of Prospect, a former Slippery Rock school board member, said she knows Fine won't be named marching band director again.

"It's a shame. Of course we don't know what happened," she said of why he's no longer band director and why the board decided to open up the position.

She said she did want the public to know that the union is involved.

Parent Doreen Self told the board that Fine has been a wonderful band director.

"He's a life leader for these kids," she said.

Student Samantha Bowman spoke on behalf of her bandmates and presented a petition supporting Fine, whom she said shows them how to be kind and honest and have a positive attitude and courage.

"He gave us a vision," she said. "He encourages our leadership skills. He has taught us so much more than we can really understand."

Fine is a good role model and the board needs to reconsider giving the band director's position to someone else, Bowman said.

The board didn't touch on the issue during Monday's meeting except to hire two assistant band directors and several advisors to help at band camp this summer.

After the meeting, Shaw said she couldn't say much about Fine and why he's no longer marching band director because it's a confidential, personnel matter, but she confirmed that he still works for the district as a teacher.

The marching band director's position is open for anyone to apply, including Fine, she said.

Published July 2, 2014, in Allied News. Pick up a copy at 201 A Erie St., Grove City.

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