Timberlane Regional School Music Students, Parents, Friends Plan Rally Tonight Over Job Concerns

Timberlane High School, right, and middle school in May 2001. The Performing Arts Center was under construction in the center. (Photograph by Wesman83. Creative Commons.)

Timberlane Regional School District music students, parents, local alumni and retired staff plan a rally tonight to support the music program, which an organizer said is, “at risk of being diminished and understaffed.”

Sarah Gerns Machemer of Plaistow, N.H., and a former Timberlane School Board member, alumni and parent of four children who have been involved in the arts at the school. She said attendees are concerned about “actions taken, and not taken, by our School Board and new superintendent,” including a closed-door board discussion.

“Everyone supports current staff, but there is grave concern that this is a very real tactic to reduce staff during the next budget season, and possibly even eliminate the director position entirely,” she told WHAV in a statement.

After District Music Director Tony DiBartolomeo announced his retirement, Machemer explained, his job was posted, but “inexplicably taken down two weeks later.” It was later reposted as an “interim” job. She said questions to the superintendent and school board members “have gone unanswered” and an in-person inquiry at the last board meeting was sent to a closed-door meeting.

The rally takes place at 6, outside the Timberlane Performing Arts Center, and just before a scheduled School Board meeting at 7. The group also plans to present a petition with more than 500 signatures.

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