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Some pink-slipped MDUSD music teachers to keep jobs

By Theresa Harrington
Thursday, May 20th, 2010 at 7:45 pm in Education, Mt. Diablo school district, Music, Theresa Harrington, Walnut Creek.

Northgate jazz band at Yoshi's Oakland on May 17, 2010

Northgate jazz band at Yoshi's Oakland on May 17, 2010

By Theresa Harrington
At the Northgate High School jazz band performance at Yoshi’s in Oakland on Monday, instrumental director Greg Brown made a surprise announcement: “I just found out I still have a job!”
The crowd cheered and Brown said he was celebrating with the students, who rocked the house with an awesome show.
Afterwards, Brown told me that Mt. Diablo school board President Paul Strange interrupted his dinner to tell him his pink slip was rescinded. Brown said he had spent one of the worst weekends of his life worrying about losing his job at the end of the year.
Although he has 13 years experience directing bands and orchestras at the Walnut Creek school, he was one of 25 music teachers in the district to receive a pink slip.
Teachers’ union president Mike Noce confirmed that Brown was among several music teachers whose pink slips were rescinded this week. Others included Concord High School band teacher Gary Coartney and choir director Christian Emigh. Johnny Johnson, who directs the College Park High School bands, was not on the list of teachers who have been informed they will be able to keep their jobs, Noce said.
Gail Isserman, assistant superintendent for personnel, told me that many pink-slips were rescinded because the district won’t have time to negotiate the elimination of fourth- and fifth-grade prep time, since the teachers’ union has not yet come to the bargaining table.
She provided this list of music teachers who will not be laid-off or bumped to another subject area in 2010-11:
Geoffry Carter
Kirk Wetterhold
Judy Ryken
Patrick Abbott
Bruce Saxton
Loretta McNulty
Pamela Madsen
Jason Klein
Karen Ashford
Lynn Quinones
Joffria Whitfield
Linda Snyder
Monica Maddern
Martha Burgess
Eve Albright
Gregory Brown
Kathryn Crandell
David Wright
Deborah Bullard
Elizabeth Emigh
Basil Viar
Josephine Bromley
Sherri Bensen
Stella Brown
Michael Hanna
Gena Blind
Gary Coartney
Christian Emigh
Emilie Patton
Teachers with less seniority who are not on this list are either still in layoff status or could be bumped into anonther subject area, if they have a second credential, Isserman said. Some teachers will be laid off because trustees have eliminated fifth-grade instrumental music next year.
The Mt. Diablo Music Education Foundation continues to fund-raise to try to save fifth-grade music.
Some proceeds from the KidFest on May 29-31 in Concord will help benefit the nonprofit organization.
More information is at

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