Supporters turn out in force to defend popular Marin wilderness program; no decision made
Feb 07, 2013 (The Marin Independent Journal - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Some 250 supporters of a popular high school wilderness program packed a school board meeting Wednesday to defend the program from possible closure.
"It's not just the wilderness program, it's the community service, the internships, it's the relationships that you build," said Dani Bicknell, who was in the Team program a decade ago.
For 21 years, the Team program has educated 24 juniors from throughout the Tamalpais Union High School district each year through backpacking trips, internships and community service.
Administrators caused an uproar Jan. 25 when they notified faculty they were recommending closure of the program. Students, alumni, parents and other supporters quickly mobilized, sending a
flood of emails to schools officials and collecting more than 3,000 signatures on an online petition opposing Team's closure.
Last Friday, administrators said they would offer an option to keep the program open.
At the school board meeting Wednesday, district Superintendent Laurie Kimbrel said her office offered the new option in response to the input from supporters. She praised what she said were "beautifully articulate" letters sent in Team's support.
"The civility of that conversation is a testament to the program and the teachers who have been involved in that program," she said. "It's been impressive and something those of us who had the pleasure and honor of reading those letters will never forget."
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