Letter to the Editor

Ellis, Dumey give 110% to students at Central MS

Tuesday, May 6, 2003

To the editor:

I want to thank principal Frank Ellis for the wonderful leadership at the new Central Middle School. I also want to thank Pam Dumey, director of the CMS Panthera Tigris fifth- and sixth-grade choir. Dumey teaches at CMS full-time and also teaches music before and after school every day, gratis, so students have the opportunity to learn performing arts. Anyone who has attended any of the Panthera Tigris concerts this year has been truly moved by the performance level of these young students. Their most recent performance May 1 was fantastic.

This choir is making a two-day trip to Hannibal, Mo., to perform "Jabuti," the elaborate vocal and instrumental program the students have worked on all year. This trip is made possible because of Dumey's leadership, passion for music and dedication to her students. Thanks also goes out to all the parents who brought their children to school at 7 a.m. once a week so their children could be part of this group.

When so many these days believe public schools are inadequate, I am here to say that my experience has been otherwise. Teachers like Dumey and admisistrators like Ellis give 110 percent every day to see that our children are given a positive learning environment. Our public schools are faced with difficult times as funding declines, but I believe good teachers will still rise to the surface. Dumey is certainly one of those special teachers and deserves the community's respect and thanks.

TAMMY GWALTNEY

Cape Girardeau