Updated Thu, Aug 22, 2013 4:05 pm
Less than a month after agreeing to serve as Trimble Local Schools’ marching band director, Eric Skinner stepped down Wednesday, putting all future practices on hold until the district finds a replacement. High School Principal Matthew Curtis said he has one individual who has expressed an interest in filling the role. He is waiting to meet with other school administrators to confirm “that’s the direction we want to go,” he said.
“Our goal is to have a marching band, and we’ll continue looking,” he added.
When asked why Skinner stepped down, Curtis said “his heart wasn't in it to see it through. We do have a lot of young kids this year, and it seems the experience level isn’t there. It wasn’t what he was expecting.” Skinner could not be reached for comment.
The band this year has 17 players who range from the sixth grade up through high school age. The position of band director is considered a supplemental contract and pays $3,544.94, according to Cindy Rhonemus, the district’s treasurer.
District officials struggled to find a new leader for the band after the previous director and assistant director stepped down at the end of the school year. Heidi Humphrey, who had been director for the past six years, bowed out to focus on her new role as a pre-kindergarten teacher. District music teacher Shelly Rose, the assistant band director, had been involved with the marching band for the past 16 years. She said it was time for her to refocus her attention on her family and her teaching.
Once the district does find a replacement, Rose has offered to help with the transition, Curtis said.
Curtis said he hopes to have someone in place before Saturday, Aug. 31, when the school's football team plays Nelsonville-York.
If the district doesn’t have a band performing at the game, Janice Paris, Nelsonville-York’s marching band director, said her band could be prepared to play “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
“In terms of the halftime show, we’d come prepared with the show we already have slated,” Paris added. “We wouldn’t take up the entire show. We’ll come ready, and we’ll be supportive of our team and of Trimble’s team, because we’re next-door neighbors.”