by Joey Crandall, email@example.com
Welcome back from a busy weekend in the Valley.
Plenty happened, but the biggest news over the weekend came with the announcement that longtime Douglas High music director Bill Zabelsky had resigned his position, and that he will be the band director at Carson High School starting today.
A lot was said on our various social media channels about it, but I have this to say: Mr. Z was my favorite teacher in high school. He created an environment that introduced me to some of my very best friends. His program taught me invaluable life lessons. I walked away with a life-long passion for music and am indescribably grateful for the time he spent enriching my life. When I think of my four years of high school, the overwhelming majority of memories stem out of that band room. His program took me all over the West Coast and opened the doors to an education in Boston and Texas. It equipped me with skills that paid for two years of college straight up.
To say that I have a great amount of respect for Mr. Zabelsky is an understatement.
I also have a great deal of respect for the administration at Douglas High School, and for the administration of the school district. I’ve covered the district and the school in different aspects for the past 10 years and know that the decisions made aren’t made lightly. They juggle an immense amount of challenges and at the heart of each decision is the kids.
The last four years have been challenging at every level of the economy, and education did not escape that blade. Declining overall enrollment did not help matters. Still, the district has maintained high overall academic ratings with minimal loss to the actual programs available. That’s a credit to the willingness of teachers to continue to make them happen, and to the administration for getting creative with the budget to provide the financial backing.
Many, many different departments district-wide faced cuts and the teaching ranks across the board did not come away unscathed. Neither did music. Or athletics. Or any other department, for that matter.
The basic fact is this: The recession drastically changed the work environment for all of us, regardless of profession. Education wasn’t granted a golden shield. Through that, though, Douglas High School remains a four-star school with an outstanding fine arts program across the board, a strong vocational program and a solid athletic program. Those aren’t easy things to pull off.
Last week, Mr. Zabelsky made the choice to move to a position that better suited him. I can completely relate to that. But it was his choice, and it’s been made. He’ll do an excellent job at his new post, just like he did here.
He leaves big shoes to fill. But someone will wear them, in their own way. The Douglas music program will go on, because it was never about one man. He’d be the first to tell you that. It was and is, as so many great things about our local education system are, about the kids.
And they are still here.
Rumor has it they’ll be conducting their own training camp during the mornings this week at the high school until an official practice schedule can be put in place. Drop by and let them know you support them, if you get a chance.
They could probably use it this week.
Carson Valley resident Ty Tremaine made his X Games debut yesterday, taking 12th in the nationally-televised Enduro X event at the Staples Center in LA.
Organizers of the Western States Wild Horse and Burro Expo reported this weekend’s event at the Douglas County Fairgrounds was a wild success.
We’ve got a couple interesting features set for this week and will bring them to you as we get them finished.
We’re looking at a high of 90 degrees today with calm winds. Slight chance of thunderstorms starting tomorrow and continuing through most of the week.