Thursday, January 31, 2013
Allen students, parents disgruntled by high school band director’s reassignment
Allen High School's marching band has 800 musicians.
ALLEN The recent reassignment of the director of the 800-member Allen High School band drew considerable response during Tuesday's board meeting.
The Allen ISD Board of Trustees heard from 10 speakers who voiced their support for Charles Pennington and raised concerns about how the band will operate in his absence. Pennington was reassigned earlier this month and now teaches at Ereckson Middle School.
Blane Hinton is the new Allen band director.
“How many times do we see one man get over 800 students quiet with one whistle or one word on a [microphone],” said Allen student Katelyn Ripkowski. “That doesn't happen with teenagers. He earned our respect. He never asked for it; he just earned it.”
Several parents criticized the district's handling of the move and its lack of an explanation, saying they only heard about Pennington's reassignment in the third paragraph of an announcement of Hinton's hiring.
Gary Stocker, board president, said the district cannot discuss personnel decisions.
“This is a radical disruption to a nationally-renowned Allen community asset that requires and in the past has been able to count on a high degree of support from the community,” said resident Robert Tomkins.
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