New London music department hits the road

By Gretchen Teske, Mt. Pleasant News


NEW LONDON ? The New London High School band and choir will be taking their sound on the road. At last night?s school board meeting, the board approved a music trip to an unknown, as of yet, destination.

Every four years, the New London music department takes a road trip to allow students to see more of the world and perform in a new place. Past destinations have been Disney, San Antonio, Texas and Branson, Mo. April of 2019 marks time for another trip to take place. The possible destinations are Branson or San Antonio.

Band director Arnie Anderson has been in negotiations with Trailways Travel, of Burlington, to make arrangements. The official numbers for the San Antonio trip are yet to be determined, but Anderson was told they would be very close to the $650 per student estimate given for the Branson trip.

The trip is entirely paid for by band boosters and the fundraisers the students participate in. The only out of pocket expense for the students are meals. Superintendent Chad Wahls commented that he would like to see an itenerary where everything is paid for by the band boosters. The trip is set to take place Wednesday, Thursday and Friday before spring break in 2019. With Wednesday and Thursday being days school will be in session, he did not think it fit to ask students to pay for things, like lunch, that would be included in a regular school day.

The board approved the music department to take the trip that approximately 44 students have signed up for. The destination will be determined at a later date as the bid for the San Antonio trip comes in.

Continuing to look forward to the future, the board discussed a new phone system. Director of Technology Jon Munford reported the current system is over 20 years old and has been retrofit to work on the existing cables. The new system will work over the school?s computer network and require all new cabling.

Munford presented two bids. The first was from ITP for their ESI phones, estimated to be around $29,422. This did not come recommended by him because it was not capable of higher security like alarm bells in the hallway. The second bid was also from ITP for their Avaya system for $31,540.97. This was the recommended choice by Munford who thought the technological advances it offered best fit the school.

The cost of outsourcing to re-cable the school could reach upward of $30,000. Munford decided to do the work in house to save money and hopes to complete the job for $5,000. The bid for the Avaya system and the in-house re-cabling was approved.

Improving the school from the inside out was on the agenda for Wahls who reported the school will be undergoing painting in the hallways and new furniture in the classrooms. He reported the lawn has been fertilized and the new landscape is flourishing. ?We?ll continue to make the grounds look nice,? he said.

Freshening up the school applies to staff as well as the board approved the hiring of nine additional staff. Among those were Kinsey Michelson who will be the shared elementary school guidance counselor. The job was previously offered and accepted by Luke Lawson, but Lawson turned the job down. Michelson will work out of both the Danville and New London elementary schools. ?I cannot begin to tell you how great it?s going to be for the kids,? said Elementary School Principal Todd Palmatier.

Bringing in new faces means saying goodbye to others. The school board approved four resignations while middle school principal Scott Kracht acknowledged the accomplishments of the senior class. Of the 42 who graduated, eight of them made National Honor Society. He reported the senior spotlight they hosted was successful and had increased attendance from similar events in the past. ?We spent a lot of time talking and a lots of time planning and it came off great for the kids,? he said.

The next meeting of the New London School board will be Tuesday, June 19, at 7 p.m.