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The County Directors Association: A Short History

NOTES DA CAPO - By John Puffenbarger
April/May 1994

The Charleston meeting of the newly formed West Virginia Music Educators Association on 28 October 1938 decided to elect a chair who would represent county music supervisors. Thereafter it became customary to elect a music supervisors' chair at regular WVMEA elections. No formal organizational structure was established, but by electing a chair the group eventually became the West Virginia County Music Directors Association.

Music supervisors' chair Regina Caulfield reported at a WVMEA meeting in Huntington on 13 November 1942 that meetings of music teachers had occurred in Bluefield the previous April to discuss problems relating to all phases of public school music. That same year fifty-eight teachers representing twenty counties attended a conference in Clarksburg.

In August 1946 the West Virginia Department of Education sponsored a "school in supervision" for county education supervisors. One item considered was whether a state organization for county supervisors of instruction and curriculum should be promoted. and by 1948 the West Virginia Association of School Supervisors was established.

In 195l the music groups from the Association of School Supervisors recommended that there be a music group session at each state supervisors' conference, and that there be a music representative invited to meet with the conference planning committee. In October 1953 "Music and Child Development" was among the topics discussed at the Jackson's Mill meeting. In 1959 the program of the state supervisors' conference was built around the creative arts. Margaret Pantalone, Marion County, Mary Emma Allen, Logan County; Magdalene Servais, Kanawha County, and Lureata Martin, Cabell County presented a program on creative activities in the classroom.

Fifty county music directors held a luncheon at the West Virginia Education Association meeting, in the fall of 1959. During, February 1960 a constitution was presented and approved by members of the County Directors Association attending the WVMEA Conference in Morgantown. Membership was open to all qualified county directors of music in the state's public schools.

For a while the county directors continued to meet in regular session at the state supervisors' conferences at Jackson's Mill. From 1959-1962 a column headed "A Letter to Music Supervisors" appeared in NOTES A TEMPO.

James Andrews, state music specialist, organized a special fall meeting for county directors during the mid-sixties. Under the leadership of Dr. Jeanne Moore this evolved into the annual fall conference for county directors and representatives.