I have become aware of a proposal to cut the music teacher FTE at Fortuna Elementary School District. From my understanding, it is a response to difficult financial situations in the district, a situation that is certainly daunting. However, the investment in music is important and I urge the board to prioritize this crucial part of a well-rounded student education and a part of the Fortuna community.I grew up in Fortuna and attended Rohner (Ambrosini) and Toddy Thomas. I was fortunate to study with music educators Adam Thompson and Judi Scharnberg. Judi was instrumental in me becoming a music educator myself and she remains a strong mentor for me today.

I believe very strongly that music is a right of all students, regardless of the wealth of the community that they live in, and the students’ economic means. Music has historically been an important part of the Eel Valley Community — with a strong tradition of music in the schools. Music enriches students’ lives, allowing them to express their feelings, challenging them intellectually, and helping them to set and reach performance goals.

Matthew McClimon and Jared Coyle are excellent teachers and accomplished performers. Matthew serves in the Army Reserve Band, Camp Parks on weekends; Jared is an active composer. Students can learn so much from these music educators with their massive music knowledge. Please find the money to keep music — it is an important investment in students and the community.

Sarah J. McClimon-Rahman, Ph.D.; music teacher, Hart Middle School, Pleasanton

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