HAMMONTON — Hammonton High School Band Director Jason Koenig resigned last Wednesday, a day before the spring band trip to Baltimore, and is under investigation, the president of the Board of Education said.
“He did resign abruptly last week. We can’t address the rumors,” said Joe Giralo, who said he could not talk about specifics of allegations against Koenig. “What I can tell you is he was interviewed by law-enforcement officials and by other state agencies.”
Koenig had been with the district about four years, first as assistant band director and for a year as band director. He was considered an aide in the district and did not have tenure, Giralo said.
“We are cooperating with all authorities to protect the privacy and confidentiality of students, about all issues that may or may not have taken place,” Giralo said. “We do not condone any improper behavior of any staff toward any student.”
He asked parents and others to immediately report any concerns about staff or teacher behavior.
“If you see something or hear something, we need to know immediately,” Giralo said.
The high school newspaper, the Devil’s Advocate, carried an article in January saying Koenig was the adviser for a newly created Chess Club in school.
Koenig did not respond to a phone call or an email request for comment.
Giralo said Middle School Band Director Tim White and staff member J.C. Martino filled in for Koenig on the band trip, and will be helping with band needs for the immediate future.
An informational meeting for band parents and students set for 7 p.m. Thursday in the Hammonton High School Performing Arts Center. It will be attended by Superintendent Dan Blachford and other administrators and teachers, according to an email sent by Hammonton Band Booster President Lisa DiRenzo-Koob.
DiRenzo-Koob said she had no comment about how the situation is affecting the band. Vice President Kathy Pantalone said band parents know nothing about the allegations and would not be at liberty to discuss details if they did. She also had no comment on how events were affecting the band.
Giralo said if charges result from the investigation, he would be more free to speak publicly.
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