My name is Beau Rowell and I'm a Board member of Friends of Spirit, Inc., which operates the Spirit of Atlanta Drum & Bugle Corps.
With respect to housing for Cadets for the Hoschton, GA show, both Spirit and Cadets were caught off guard about the loss of Woodland HS as a housing site for the Cadets, only learning about it last night during the Valdosta, GA show. We are very thankful to the staff at Cairo High School, who made their facilities available at the last minute for Cadets. Further, we understand Cadet's decision to not attend the Hoschton show at Mill Creek HS due to the distances between Cairo HS and Mill Creek HS.
Here are the facts surrounding Woodland HS as a housing site for Cadets for the Hoschton show:
the Friends of Spirit team dealt with a particular individual at Woodland, who had confirmed to us in writing in May that Woodland could house Cadets on July 10/11
during the Valdosta show last night is when it became known that Woodland HS wasn't available as a housing site for Cadets
Friends of Spirit has learned in the last couple hours that the individual we were dealing with on housing suddenly no longer works for Woodland and, prior to his departure from Woodland, apparently didn't follow proper procedures to officially request that the school be used as a housing site for July 10/11, despite telling us otherwise
as a result the Woodland school administration was not aware of the Cadets' arrival for July 10/11
we do not know at this time if other events are occurring at Woodland today, but it's likely that football practice or other activities could have been a conflict
Woodland did try to make it work but were not able to make arrangements at the last minute
Securing housing sites is a big challenge for all DCI drum corps. Please know that the principal at Woodland High School is NOT the person to be blamed this situation. As you now know, the principal did not "back out" and in fact did all they could to try to make it work. From Woodland's perspective, they learned that Cadets would be arriving with only about six hours notice.
Hopefully you now understand this situation. We respectfully ask that you not bombard Principal Ellis and blame her for Woodland not being available for Cadets. Sending her derogatory letters will not help this situation, and in fact could be problematic long term for Spirit, which held spring training at Woodland. We've worked diligently at developing positive relationships with school districts in the greater Atlanta area. Let's please not undermine the foundations built by blaming the wrong person for this situation.