CUTLER BAY (CBS4) – At Whispering Pines Elementary the students are singing – for now – in the hope that their voices will carry for their case.

For those in the school’s music program, they’ve been hit with a double whammy.

First, they’ve learned that their music teacher Ron Simon, who has been teaching for 38 years, is retiring.

“I just loved what I do and it hasn’t been a job,” Simon said.

That love is evident when you speak to his students.

“I probably wouldn’t be the person I am today without him,” Moriah Houwas said.

But with Simon’s departure so goes the music; the Whispering Pines Chamber may soon be silenced by budget cuts to the schools arts program.

“When we go to these national competitions I get to hear all around the country how they’re cutting programs, it’s just killing kids,” Simon said.

It’s a major blow to the award-winning chamber ensemble because for the students and their parents music hits all the right notes.

“My daughter has learned discipline, team work. It has improved her academic performance,” Cynthia Dias said.

Though Simon is beginning a new tune in his life, he hopes the music plays on for his students.

“Whatever can be utilized to keep these kids in school and to get them to keep learning should be there,” Simon said.


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