By Megan Miller, Editor
PINSON — The parents of Pinson are in uproar over two Pinson Valley High School teachers getting pink slipped on Wednesday.
After parents caught wind of Adam Bearden and Brandon Triola being let go, they took to Facebook for their voices and feelings to be heard. Many parents have been requesting meetings with PVHS Principal Mike Turner, but Turner was unable to schedule a meeting with parents until Monday at 3:30 p.m. in the PVHS auditorium.
Both teachers being let go serve the PVHS fine arts department. Bearden served as band director and Triola served as theater arts teacher. Initial reports indicated that Sarah Timothy was also being let go, but Turner said the school made the decision to keep her on as choral director.
Concerned students have created an online petition, which has garnered over 1000 signatures in less than 24 hours protesting the teachers being let go.
“I decided not to bring them back and go in another direction,” said PVHS Principal Mike Turner. “At the end of the day I have to make tough decisions, and the reality is we have to be held to an expectation, and that’s my job to hold teachers to a certain expectations.”
PVHS parent Brandy Hill said that Brandon Triola started out as an English teacher at Rudd Middle School, where her son had him for 7th and 8th grade English. Triola then came on at PVHS a short time later, where he continued to coach middle school wrestling while teaching theatre arts.
“He has grown a department that was lacking and had no heart. Unlike those before him he works hand in hand with the other fine arts teachers, and the program is finally getting the community support it deserves,” said Hill. “We are a family at PVHS and we fight for family.”
Kennedy Russell is currently a dancer on the PVHS Dance Line, and has been under Bearden’s direction since her freshman year.
“My freshman year Mr. Bearden came and I didn’t know much about band in general, but he basically took me under his wing and has been there to support not only me, but the whole auxiliary as well,” Russell said. “He has put in so many, hours day in and day out to make this band great.”
Russell said because of Bearden’s work, the band received superior ratings and comments from other band directors in Jefferson County.
“This band respects him and loves him like family,” Russell said. “Hearing him being let go has not only hurt the whole band, but the community and parents and students in this band love and support what we do.”
Turner said contrary to the rumors floating around on the Internet presently, PVHS has no intentions to do away with any of the fine arts programs at this time.
“Sometimes news like this doesn’t transfer well to a child’s mind, and when it’s told to a parent through a child, it adds fuel to the flame,” said Turner.
The band director and theatre arts positions have already been posted as available on the Jefferson County Board of Education website. Both positions were posted on Wednesday. These open positions are just two of 179 total current openings in Jefferson County.
“We’re confident we’re going to bring in an exemplary band director and theater teacher,” said Turner. We wish Mr. Bearden and Mr. Triola the very vest moving forward, and if there’s anything we can do to help them along the way, I’ve already communicated that with them.”