If not for Anna D'Achille, Northern Valley Regional High School at Demarest would not have a men's choir. The women's choir that disbanded in 2017 would not have been reestablished.
There would be no NVD District Vocal Music Day and the school productions of "Footloose" and "Mamma Mia!" would have been entirely different.
So when it came to light that D'Achille would not be returning to the high school for the 2019-20 year, many students and parents were heartbroken.
Students turned out in droves to Monday's BOE meeting, sharing heartfelt words on how impactful D'Achille has been in her two years at the school.
It was not immediately clear why D'Achille will not be returning. NVD Superintendent James Santana told Daily Voice he was not at liberty to discuss personnel matters.
More than 700 signatures had been garnered on a Change.org petition as of Tuesday to keep D'Achille at the high school.
NVD Principal Timothy Gouraige was not immediately available when Daily Voice called at 11:30 Monday morning.
"Ms. D’Achille has not only been a phenomenal instructor at NVD but should be given an opportunity to continue to work with and impact the lives of NVD students," the petition says.
"As always, the NVD community wants to see its students succeed, and for the two years that Ms. D’Achille has been a member of the NVD Arts Department, NVD artists have succeeded tremendously."
D'Achille is also the musical arts director at the Presbyterian Church of Madison. She previously served as organist and music director at both the Church of the Saviour in Denville and First Memorial Presbyterian Church in Dover.
"Ms. D’Achille did not only focus on the choir but played a significant role in making the theatre program a success as well," the petition says.
"Please consider not only the effect Ms. D’Achille has had on the lives of the students, but also the effect she had on the music department, theatre department, and overall school health and environment."
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