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Norwin residents' ears perk up over Disney World trip

| Friday, June 21, 2013, 7:57 a.m.

Several residents attending the Norwin School Board meeting this week spoke in support of a proposed January trip to Walt Disney World for students in the show choir and theater club.

Teachers presented the idea to the board last week, but the board did not move it to the agenda for a vote.

Students would fundraise to cover costs and would miss three days of school. Some board members said last week they don't want students to miss class time.

“The educational value to these kids is phenomenal,” said Jim Welsh, who spoke about the competition and the Disney youth workshop on behalf of the theater club and show choir. “Our goal should be to encourage and not discourage our students to learn and grow.”

Welsh said the trip to Florida cannot be made over the winter break because it's too expensive then, and it cannot be taken in June because chaperones would have no control over seniors, who have already graduated. He asked the board to consider the trip over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday as a way to reduce the days out of class.

More than a dozen students and residents who would be impacted attended the meeting.

Norwin student Kyley Klass, president of the theater club, said the trip has educational benefits.

“You are keeping us away from education by actors and actresses,” Klass said. “You are blockading our dreams.”

Klass said students would complete work before leaving school and wouldn't miss exams because the trip would be immediately after winter break.

The theater club and show choir give back to the community through service, she said.

“This one time we are asking you to give back to us and let us go broaden our horizons,” Klass said.

President Robert Perkins said the board will discuss the trip further.

In other business:

• School directors approved a five-year tax-abatement program with Colony Norwin LLC for improvements at Norwin Towne Square shopping center. .

• The board named Michael Burrell as director of athletics and student activities, a new position. Burrell will earn $55,000.

• The board hired Timothy Daniels as a secondary music teacher and high school band director at a salary of $48,600.

Rossilynne Skena is a writer for Trib Total Media.

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