Arcanum school board approves show choir summer camp


ARCANUM – Two teachers proposed a special summer camp, centered in fine arts, Thursday at the Arcanum school board meeting.

Elementary music teacher Becky Hootman and middle school language arts teacher Joel Hootman said they wanted to give students in fourth up to eighth grade an opportunity to express themselves through vocal music.

“The purpose would be to get these kids excited about some things in music, keep them involved,” Becky Hootman said.

The summer camp would last eight to 10 days and would be a show choir camp. It would feature an outside choreographer to teach dances, and Becky Hootman would teach the songs. Joel Hootman would play the music. Once the summer camp ends, the students would give a performance for the community, lasting anywhere from 25 to 30 minutes.

The camp would not have a fee associated with it this year, besides a possible T-shirt purchase. They are projecting 25 to 30 students to participate in the show choir summer camp.

“It’s something I’ve always had a passion to do. I’ve been in elementary for 30 years, and I really would like to expand a little bit and take on some of those middle school kids. It would give me somewhat of a challenge from what I’ve done,” Becky Hootman said.

She said during those transitional times, there are less options for fine arts. Plus, because of how the scheduling is, students in the middle school band cannot participate in choir. She said this summer camp would give those kids who desire to sing the opportunity to do so when they otherwise would not be able to.

“This was something I thought would benefit the school, benefit the community and also keep me involved,” she said. “If it’s very successful, I would like to see maybe doing an after school, one day a week, keeping this group going.”

Becky Hootman suggested the group could go on to perform at community events such as the Santa breakfast and Old Fashioned Days, depending on the interest and success of the camp.

Joel Hootman said they really wanted to build the program this year and have it continue on into the school. The school board said they were interested in someone reporting back the success of the summer camp. They also approved Joel Hootman as the middle school and high school assistant drama teacher for the upcoming 2018-19 school year.

In other business:

Middle School Principal Marcus Bixler said goodbye to the school board members and fellow colleagues. Bixler will be leaving at the end of the school year after taking another position in another school district. He worked in the Arcanum school district for four years.

“It’s been an outstanding four years. I’ve absolutely loved it here. It’s the people here that make the place, and it’s been an enjoyable experience. I want to say thank you guys very much,” Bixler said.

The board approved:

The purchase of radios for the school buses, as well as for the school safety team, from P and R Communications, Inc., for the total amount of $22,693.80.

The repair of the curb and parking lot in the front corner of the school, to be completed by Wagner Paving, Inc., in the amount of $9,070. Superintendent John Stephen said this needed to be done as soon as possible to prevent more damage to the curb and upping the cost.

He said Wagner Paving would shorten the curb on the inside and make the space wider, so cars would not continue running over the curb.

The next board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. June 21.

By Mary Jones

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