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Music program at Artz-Fox ends

MABTON - The students of Artz-Fox Elementary School will not be having music class for the rest of the year. The Mabton School Board, behind the urging of Superintendent Sandra Pasiero-Davis, approved two contracts Tuesday night, which will eliminate the music program for the rest of the year.

Davis said that Jen LeRose, who had been splitting her time between the two Mabton schools, was unable to continue working at both schools because of scheduling conflicts. She said the contract would result in a temporary discontinuation of services. To keep LeRose as a full-time employee, Davis had the school board vote on adding Jr./Sr. High ASB advisor to her duties.

To replace LeRose, the Mabton school district has hired Carla Wolfe part time as a specialist teacher, teaching computer skills.

"The loss is music, children love music," said Davis. "The gain is we do have a digital generation and we don't have anything in our curriculum to attract and engage the digitally minded students."

She added that she doesn't see losing the music program for the rest of the year as a "severe loss."

When questioned by board member Peggy Zeebuyth about the long-term future of music at Artz-Fox, Davis said they will have music back in the building this fall.

"Our commitment is that we will go back to a full year of music next year," she added.

The two contracts, for LeRose and Wolfe, were unanimously approved.

At the school board meeting, the board members also heard from teacher Linda Mowery's Teens Against Tobacco Use (TATU) students on the effects of smoking. Maria Reyna and Alma Garcia presented the board with a demonstration they are making in front of students in the Mabton School District.

Garcia told school board members that tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of premature death in the United States.

The girls brought a few household items with them that have the same chemicals as tobacco products do.

Among the items were toilet bowl cleaner, which has ammonia, rat poison, which has arsenic, and bug spray, which has DDT.

The also had nail polish remover, battery acid and lighter fluid, all which have chemicals found in cigarettes.

The girls also brought a "phlegm jar," which showed how much phlegm a smoker coughs up a day (about two cups.)

The school board also heard from Greg Hurn, who was promoting the third of the town hall meetings, which is to be held March 11.

Hurn presented Mabton High School junior Brenda Lua with a $50 check for her artwork, which was chosen as the logo to promote the meetings.

The purple and gold logo, which Hurn says captures the essence of the town hall meetings, will be used on all of the presentation folders at the coming meeting.

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