2020 February 5

Greely Drama Boosters Meeting

February 5, 2020


John Hankinson, Ramona Panici, Dan Panici, Erin Farnham, Tim Farnham, Julene Gervais, George Gervais, Colleen Foley-Ingersoll, Heidi Alfreds, Catherine Stine, Jennifer Segal, Sarah Bailey, Stewart Bailey, Erin Pollock, Katie Dexter, S. Alfreds, Chris Hoffman, Kathy Carlson

I} Introductions and Purpose of Meeting

Chris Hoffman chaired the meeting and opened with introductions. He indicated he met with drama students recently who answered three questions for him. He shared the results with Boosters. The first question was “What do I get from being in Greely Drama?” They said they valued building relationships and trust, sharing common interests, increasing skill development in the arts, being creative together, sharing goals, and working as a team.

The second question was, “What ground rules/ norms/ expectations should guide Greely drama?” Students said, from now on they want-- open communication among all members and booster parents, complete honesty, respect, flexibility with the theatre schedule, opportunities to discuss difficulties and hurts openly, and an equal respect for all persons involved in theatre, regardless of the roles they play in the production. They indicated they do not want to tolerate an atmosphere of gossip and do not want people using social media to bully others.

The third question was “What are your wishes for the future with Greely Drama?” Students indicated they wanted more participation from more students, a sense of unity, equal opportunity, respect for student choices and voices, a rebuilding of the trust that has been damaged, and an opportunity to put on great shows.

The group discussed the answers to these questions and implications for how Booster parents should conduct themselves in future. The group agreed that a sense of trust has been damaged among booster parents. The group is not in agreement about how to move forward effectively as a group.

II} Overview of Hiring Practices for the New Drama Director

Chris Hoffman answered several questions that people asked at the School Board Meeting on 2-3-20 regarding how the new drama director was hired. Additionally, he reviewed her credentials and indicated that she will be evaluated at the end of the spring season, 2020. Feedback will be elicited from participants in the program and boosters. Participants asked if the new director is aware of the events preceding her application for this position. He indicated she understands that students are divided and reconciling this will be difficult. He did not refer to discord among the boosters. He indicated that bullying, disrespect, and harassment of anyone affiliated with the program should be shared with him immediately.

III} Overview of Next Steps for Spring Production

Mr. Hoffman indicated that the new director will meet with students on 2-6-20 at 3:30 pm unless it is a snow day. In the event of school closing, the meeting will occur Monday, February 10.

Additionally, Mr. Hoffman indicated that participation in the One Acts or a production in late March will not be possible due to deadlines missed as a result of the termination in December. The new director will determine a plan for moving forward once she meets with students. Members expressed concern about the effects of the truncated season on graduating seniors.

IV} Important Policy Reminders

Mr. Hoffman read MSAD #51 Policy KE on public concerns and complaints. He emphasized that if anyone has a problem with a faculty or staff member, they should follow the policy process: First, go to the faculty/ staff person. Only after direct complaints have not been satisfied/ addressed by the faculty/staff person, do people go next to Mr. Hoffman. Only if complaints are not satisfied there, do people go to the Superintendent. This policy was revised in 2017. Members observed the policy has not been consistently followed leading to difficulties in the MSAD # 51 community.

V} Defining Boosters

Mr. Hoffman invited discussion on what members think the purpose of the Drama Boosters is, and how boosters think Greeley High School and the drama boosters can work together better. He indicated there is a new policy being developed that spells out the relationship between the School Board and the Drama Boosters. Currently, the Booster organization is being conceptualized solely as a fundraising organization-- providing money for theatre beyond what the district can/will provide. Hoffman recommended boosters attend the public policy meeting that occur one hour before public board meetings if people want to consult with the School Board about the policy.

Members asked what the school is doing to replace the staff/faculty/ volunteers who left upon the termination of the last director (virtually the entire drama team). Mr. Hoffman indicated the boosters will have to fund these positions. He said he can get back to the boosters about whether the school can do anything to help financially. Currently, the new director is expected to bring in her own team.

VI} Financial Report

A financial summary was presented by the Finance Chair for the Drama Boosters. He presented the summary in writing. The Drama Boosters have an ending checking account balance of $447.24. The Northway Scholarship fund has $112.28. The balance on the capital account, as of 2/5/20, was $2061.79.

Meeting ended at 7:12 pm.

Respectfully Submitted,

Ramona Panici, Secretary Drama Boosters, 2019-2020