• Roger Sims, Journal Staff

Prairie View hires Pleasanton district music teacher

Updated: Sep 4

James Beltz conducts the Pleasanton Junior-Senior High band during Veterans Day program last fall. Beltz has accepted a teaching job with the Prairie View district. (Roger Sims/Linn County Journal)

LA CYGNE – Long-time Pleasanton school district music teacher James Beltz is moving on following a decision made on Monday, July 11, by the Prairie View USD 362 Board of Education.

After coming out of closed-door sessions to discuss non-elected personnel and teacher negotiations, the board voted to hire Beltz to teach middle and high school music for the district.

He replaces Dawn Burhart, who resigned at the end of the school year ending in May.

Superintendent Rex Bollinger indicated that Beltz would be a good addition to the staff, and that Beltz and instrumental music teacher Jeffery Russell would work together to plan classes for the coming school year.

Beltz, who has been with the Pleasanton district for 15 years, has been the key to that school district’s music program. He is an accomplished musician on several instruments.

As a band leader he has melded a small group of junior high and high school musicians into band that, with the help of trumpet-playing Superintendent Travis Laver and staff members, perform well together.

On Monday, Beltz posted a video statement on the Pleasanton Schools Facebook page notifying the community of his decision to take the job at Prairie View as the middle school and high school choir director.

“To my students, I wanted to let you know you will always be my students,” he said. “I will always keep an eye out for your name in programs and whenever there are music events that we may cross paths at.”

He urged students to continue to follow their love of music, not out of a sense of loyalty to any one person but because of their enjoyment of music. “Music is a part of what makes us who we are,” he said.

Beltz also thanked parents and Pleasanton district patrons for the support for the last 15 years.

“The support, the love, the encouragement, and everything you have given to me has made my job a true joy and made it to where there were very, very few days where I felt like I had to work,” he said. “Instead, I was able to come do something that I love and share something that I loved with your children and your nieces and your nephews and your grandchildren. And I will cherish those memories and they will not be forgotten.”

Beltz’s former position at Pleasanton has been posted on the Kansas State Department of Education’s website.

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