Drum major Macy Bratcher and "tuba herd" introduced at board meeting

Monday’s regular monthly meeting of the Taft Union High School Board of Trustees featured plaudits for staff and a sneak peek at the school’s marching band – specifically the “tuba herd.”
Supt. Blanca Cavazos lauded the maintenance and technology staffs for their efforts to finish an ambitious summertime remodeling project in time for the opening of a new school year next Monday.
The project shuffled virtually every office on the campus under a plan designed for efficiency and user friendliness.
But there were some frustrating hiccups.
“We encountered some unexpected outages,” Cavazos said.  “There were some bumps in the road.  I want to especially thank Rocky (O’Neal), Stacy (Meadows) and their staffs for just the phenomenal work that’s been done over the summer.”
O’Neal heads up the maintenance workforce and Meadows the technology department.
“We’re still doing some remodeling,” O’Neal said.  “Home Ec, the staff lounge and the new business office are almost done.”
The new shade structures for the quad won’t be finished until December, he said.
Trustee George Harmer noted “the money you saved us can be used on other things.”

Band in spotlight
The marching band came in for some recognition when drum major Macy Bratcher reviewed a summer camp she attended that afforded “a lot of practice conducting and preparing for competition.”
She was praised by band director Amanda Posey not only for her work as drum major but her other endeavors in music.
“Macy also is a vocalist, plays clarinet and electric base and just started playing the piano,” Posey said.
She introduced the band section she calls “my tuba herd:” Cesar Pazos, David Lopez, Javier Valenzuela, Will Moren, Terry Brown and Juan Espinoza.
They played their rendition of “Taps,” something they did every night at bedtime at summer band camp at Camp Condor.
“Every night they played Taps.  The sound really resonated through the forest, and it kept  the bears away,” she said.

Summer session
Ryan Heber, principal of the school’s summer session, told the board this year’s program also focused on offerings for higher achieving students in addition to the remedial focus.
“We didn’t have to turn any of the good students away,” he said.
Some offerings were on-line, which “for some of these kids just works for them.”
There were some new offerings in the mix as well.
But there were downsides too.
“We had a bunch of no-shows,” Heber said.  “I’d like to do some research on that to see if we can improve.”
He also wants to do some follow-up to see how effective the three-week, five-hour-a-day summer session was.
“I would like to track some of them to see what kind of impact we’ve had.  I plan to track 100 of them.  Overall, it turned out really well.”