Community rallies behind band director

By Evan Johnson - bio |email

JESUP, GA (WTOC) - Music enthusiasts in Wayne County are making a lot of noise over the recent termination of the Wayne County's High school band director. Elizabeth Taylor has taught music at Wayne County High School for about 16 years, teaching her students not only musical notes, but also valuable life lessons.

"Punctuality, self-discipline, preparedness in life, these are lessons that my children carry today. And my oldest daughter, who's just had a child of her own, she's instilling those values in her and talks about how the values that she learned from Mrs. Taylor are things that she can pass on to her children. My youngest daughter, I've seen Mrs. Taylor take out of her own pocket and give to my own daughter," said Dana Kopecinski, a supporter for Mrs. Taylor.

Right now, it's unclear why Taylor was let go.

"At this point it's a personnel issue and we'll follow our protocol for dealing with personnel issues. That's about all I can say at this point," said Dr. Morris Leis, Superintendent of the Wayne County Schools.

But many supporters are sounding off on Facebook. The 300 members of the "Support Mrs. Elizabeth Taylor" page are saying things like Chris, who says, "the very disciple that Mrs. Taylor helped establish in me was one of the keys to my success with seven years and two Iraq tours in the army. Mrs. Taylor, you helped me stand tall and proud."

Despite the Wayne County High School band's past success under Taylor's leadership, Superintendent Leis says the school board has simply decided to move in a different direction.

"We're just looking towards the future and want to make sure that our Wayne County High School band remains one of the best programs in the state. That's our goal, to have the best band program we can have and we feel good about where we're going," Leis said.

But Kopecinski argues, "If that's what our school board wants, is for our children to have the very best, then they're going to leave Mrs. Taylor in place as our band director in Wayne County. It's absolutely imperative that they do that."

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