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North Castle Schools Music Program Honored

Music teachers were honored at the Byram Hills School District Board of Education meeting Tuesday night for achieving high honors in a Tri-State Consortium report.

The report covered grades K-12 at all four public schools and included evaluations by a Tri State committee as well as comments from parents, students and teachers.

Tim Kaltenecker, the assistant superintendent for curriculum, and Joy Varley, the director of fine arts, presented the report, which evaluated the music curriculum according to a series of rubrics that measured everything from curriculum and instruction to student performance.

The parents agreed that the curriculum is strong and their children's music performance is improving.

Ten music teachers appeared at the presentation. Ken Pearson, from the Wampus school, said, "I always knew we were doing great work. Our kids perform, that's what it's all about."

Adam Shawtraw, who teaches at Byram Hills High School, said the report "put our entire program under a microscope. We joked about putting evidence sheets on the music stand but we bonded as a faculty."

School Superintendent Jackie Taylor complemented the entire music faculty as "talented musicians in their own right who give their passion for music to our children and make music a part of their life."

She reiterated the town's support for the Byram Hills music curriculum. "Other districts have suffered with music but we've maintained our excellence," she said.

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