October 14, 2016
Less than a week ago we watched the weather and news reports intently for updates and information on Hurricane Matthew as it was bearing down on the Florida coast.
As the weekend unfolded it was apparent that North Carolina was going to have a significant impact from the storm. On Saturday there was no question that all of Eastern North Carolina would see damaging winds and a huge amount of rain. As we learned that flooding would be imminent through the coming week, we have watched in anguish and sadness as our families, friends, and colleagues have suffered devastating losses.
This is the time of year we are traditionally focused on digging deeper into our curriculum, preparing for fall performances, attending marching band competitions, preparing students for Honors Choir and All-State Orchestra performances, and of course our time growing and learning during the NCMEA Professional Development Conference in Winston-Salem. In fact, several groups slated to perform at this year’s conference have been in the direct path of flooding and will have missed school the majority of this week.
It is difficult to imagine what are friends are enduring. The lives of our students and teachers have been changed dramatically in less than one week. Goals in their music rooms and in their lives suddenly have a completely different direction and meaning.
I ask that we all take a moment to uplift our colleagues in North Carolina who have been impacted by this storm. Please reach out to those you know and to those you do not know. Our members are some of the most networked and family-like in the entire education profession. Take a moment to call a colleague, write an email, and offer support or assistance in any way that you can. There are many ways to provide assistance and support.
We probably do not yet know the true needs that are yet to come for all of our music family. We want all of our colleagues and their students to feel the compassion and care that can be offered by a supportive network of like-minded professionals who know the value that healing has on a great trauma such as this natural disaster.
If you were not impacted by this historic event, please reach to someone who is reeling from the storm. Please let us know at NCMEA if there is anything we can do for those in need. My thoughts and prayers are with each of you during this difficult time.
With my most heartfelt concern,
James G. Daugherty, President
North Carolina Music Educators Association