30-Year PUSD Employee’s Future Remains Uncertain Amid Wilson Middle School Shutdown

By Alex Cordero

Marvin Hatchett has been an employee for the Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) at Wilson Middle School for over 30 years. In addition to his formal role as a security guard, Hatchett has been volunteering to teach music and other arts to students at Wilson Middle School.

As PUSD consolidates schools, the future of students and staff members at Wilson will be altered by where they continue later this year.

Although there are plenty of enrichment programs in the performing arts offered at schools all across PUSD, Hatchett’s musical program is a unique one because he has been directing the program as a volunteer for as long as he has been employed at PUSD.

Marvin’s after school program has been successful because it has gained the support of the community and the PUSD.

Most of the instruments, equipment and resources that make Hatchett’s extra-curricular activities after school successful have been independent donations from the local community and from PUSD.

“I’m very thankful for all of the support everyone has expressed over the years, to the local community, the superintendent, and the District, it really means a lot to me.” expressed Marvin.

Hatchett is a Pasadena native. He credits both of his parents for his love for music but especially acknowledges his mother for teaching him the act of serving the community.

“My mother did everything; she danced, she sang and directed choirs, and served her community. Giving back is how I follow her footsteps.”

Hatchett’s after school program at Wilson offers a variety of musical and performing arts classes. He teaches drumline, jazz band, drum corps, horns, brass, strings, drum set, choir, drama, production lighting, audio power amplifier technology and set design.

“We certainly appreciate Mr. Marvin’s years of dedication to teach music to our students at Wilson Middle School. The district is working toward finding Mr. Marvin’s after school program a home. However, that will be after gathering several factors and we will be able to confirm further details this spring.” said Hilda Ramirez-Horvath, communications manager for PUSD.

Ramirez-Horvath was not able to officially give exact details about the type of impact the closing of Wilson will have on Hatchett’s employment or his volunteer work because she said the district is still working towards presenting him with an opportunity to continue to teach music to students through his after school program. However, concrete details will not be disclosed until spring later this year.

Hatchett also teaches middle school kids recording techniques and camera work for when students have musical performances. Other students in Hatchett’s program learn how to operate recording equipment and get the opportunity to film and create videos featuring school musical performances.

Hatchett’s students are having a spring performance and they are also performing at the upcoming Pasadena Black History Parade and Festival on Feb. 15.

January 21, 2020

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Alejandra Cordero

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