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Longtime WB music instructor retires

BELOIT – The West Branch school board this week accepted the retirement of a longtime music teacher who helped build the choir program into its current award-winning state.

The board accepted the retirement of John Zamarelli as high school music instructor effective July 1. He has been with the district since 1993 as the choir director and more recently as the band director, as well. In his time with the district, he took the program from one annual spring musical to the current slate of multiple productions each year.

Under Zamarelli’s guidance, the district has been honored with the Best Communities Music Education designation from the The NAMM Foundation on multiple occasions.

The board also accepted the retirement of Deborah Shafer as bus driver effective Nov. 1 after nearly 22 years with the district.

In other business, the board hired Dennis McCracken as a middle school social studies and science teacher, Alice Cartwright as an interventionist, Matthew Roshak as a high school mathematics teacher and Celeste Alters as a guidance counselor; approved payment to Nick Mancini for four hours of consultant July 2 at the rate of $20 per hour; and the resignation of Lydia (Althouse) Conklin as an intervention specialist.

Also at the meeting, the board accepted the supplemental resignations of Greg Sharp and Mark Miller for freshman football; and granted supplemental coaching contracts to Cameron Martig for freshman football, Sharp and Miller for eighth grade football, Chris Dorris for seventh grade football, Lea Bock for girls soccer volunteer and Jeff Legros for boys soccer volunteer.

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