Dr. Van and music – making a huge difference in children’s lives

I’ve known Dr. Jane Van Middlesworth for quite awhile.  She taught band and orchestra for the last remaining Guilford County elementary instrumental music program at Jones Elementary.  ’Dr. Van’, as she is known, cried like a baby along with the rest of us following the final performance of that excellent program during my Josie’s elementary school graduation ceremony in 2002.

Despite loud protests from Jones parents and offers by Dr. Van and others to help pay for it out of thier own pockets, our short-sighted school board cut funding for the Jones music program.  The reason given: no other elementary schools in the county offered anything similar.  In other words – Van Middlesworth’s highly-sought-after music program at Jones was dropped like a lead balloon simply because other schools wanted to duplicate the program’s success for themselves. In all-too-typical fashion, our school board “leveled” Jones to the lowest common denominator and Dr. Van’s baby was thrown out with the dumbed-down bath water.

Read Tina Firesheets’ excellent profile of Dr. Van and her protege’ Brandon Davis in this morning’s Life section, then come back here and explain to me why she must be forced to fund her passion, and our futures, with her own money.

This entry was posted in Guilford County Schools. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. Ian
    Posted May 21, 2006 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Yes – and true to Grier – she’s been transferred to Northern next year. Ever notice how the best teachers in the impacted schools are transferred to the higher income schools???

  2. debora mauser
    Posted May 22, 2006 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    She applied for that job, it was not a transfer. Dr. Misher (principal for Northern Middle) had over 100 applicants for the 20 or so positions. He then interviewed and hired from that group.

  3. Posted May 22, 2006 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Can’t blame her for wanting to go to a school where she might be able to do more good without suffering for it financially….

One Trackback

  1. By Hogg’s Blog » Damn ridiculous on May 24, 2006 at 6:04 am

    [...] Sunday’s N&R profile of Welborn’s Dr. Van and her protege’ triggered my exasperation as to why our school board refuses to see the value of such programs, so I decided to bring the issue up again in my bi-weekly column. [...]