Just In Case You Were Wondering About Bennett, Colorado

If you’ve been following the hubbub over the public school music teacher who has been suspended with pay from her position over controversy from her showing elementary age students an educational video about opera, I hope you caught an article appearing in the 03/10/06 edition of the Rocky Mountain News…


The article reports that the teacher, Tresa Waggoner, is looking for a new position and has been informed by the Bennett School Board that she will not be allowed to return to her classroom in the Bennett School system. The article also reports that Ms. Waggoner’s removal may by connected to other issues involving some parent’s displeasure over her decision to not allow traditional Christian songs in the school’s holiday pageant.

In addition to the latest article from the Rocky Mountain News, you can find additional information on a website which supports Tresa Waggoner, located at http://www.savetresa.org/

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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3 thoughts on “Just In Case You Were Wondering About Bennett, Colorado

  1. After reading the lead sentence, I thought, “What on earth? Did she show them a clip from Salome or something?” After reading the article, I’m still puzzling over it all. Get a grip, Bennett!

  2. Starting 2nd and 3rd graders with “Faust” just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense from a teaching standpoint. “Magic Flute” might have been a better choice given the ages of the children. The story aside, the musical language of Mozart is much more acsessible to the novice.
    Also, having opera and all its components as part of a well contructed music curriculm with clear goals and expectations might help reduce the fear factor among the parents…as long as no one mentions “Rigoletto.”

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