DEWITT, Iowa — Central DeWitt Intermediate School is preparing for its annual winter program. It’s a show where students get to perform and sing holiday music.
For the first time, they’re preparing for it without a music teacher.
"Our music department normally handles our music program and performances,” 5th-grade teacher Jamie McDonough. “We have a vacancy in that position this year that has yet to be filled.”
The position has been vacant since June 2022. It has been difficult for the school to fulfill the position due to the nationwide shortage of teachers. Spencer Lueders, the school’s principal who took over the position at the beginning of the school year, said it has been a “tremendous effort from the staff to keep the tradition going.”
“It was so much behind-the-scenes work, since September, trying to come up with a plan for it,” Lueders said. “It got to the point that I had to sit down with my 4th and 5th-grade staff and say, 'hey this is where we're at, and we need to make a plan to keep it going.'"
In the past few months, the staff has been committed to keeping the show going. The school’s secretary Netty Schneider has stepped up, helping students prepare for their holiday show.
“I have never done anything like this before,” Schneider said. "Kudos to a music teacher that can put this together by themselves because we realized that there’s so much that goes into this.”
It’s an all-hands-on-deck for the school to maintain its traditions.
“We put our students first,” McDonough said. “We're trying to undertake this huge task of performing for the winter program and for our students even though we don't have a music teacher here to guide us."
Central DeWitt Intermediate School will have its performances on Dec. 8.
The school says they are hoping to fill their music teacher position as soon as possible.
If you are interested in the position, click here.
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