Five stories that have North Texas talking: the Dallas Symphony Orchestra gets a Juilliard-trained assistant conductor, Texas teacher salaries are below average, there’s a wide disparity in household incomes across Dallas-Fort Worth, and more:
- The Dallas Symphony Orchestra announced Tuesday that Karina Canellakis will be assistant conductor. She’ll conduct youth concerts, community concerts and pops concerts. Music director Jaap van Zweden is sticking around – until at least 2019. He said he chose her because of her “insightful musicality and command of the score.” Canellakis recently made her Carnegie Hall conducting debut, and frequently appears as guest conductor of New York’s International Contemporary Ensemble. Canellakis, who received her master’s degree in orchestral conducting from The Juilliard School, is the winner of the 2013 Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship. Jonathan Martin, president and CEO of the orchestra, said Canellakis “represents a new generation of conductors and musicians that understand both artistic excellence and audience engagement.”
- The Ritz-Carlton in Dallas has created a replica of the Old Red Courthouse out of gingerbread with fondant icing. It’s on display in the hotel’s lobby, CultureMap Dallas reports. Chefs spent several weeks working on the gingerbread courthouse. It took 50 hours to bake and put together, CultureMap reports. It weighs more than 140 pounds, and is nearly 5 feet tall, almost 3 feet wide and 3 feet high.
- On Tuesday, the U.S. Census Bureau released the latest American Community Survey that provides estimates on social, economic, demographic and housing data. Five-year estimates were released that include data from 2008 through 2012. If you’re a data geek, you’ll like digging into the stats. In North Texas, Dallas County has the poorest residents. The five-year 2012 ACS shows the county with a median household income of $49,159, while Collin County had a median income of $83,238. In Rockwall County, it’s $82,725. But in Tarrant County, it’s $56,859.But if you drill down into the Dallas County data, you see a wide disparity between Dallas’ more prosperous northern half and the area south of Interstate 30. We reported on this Tuesday evening on KERA 90.1 FM – read more about the survey.
- Doug Parker, the new CEO of American Airlines, is letting employees decide whether to stick with the new tail design that was unveiled earlier this year. Employees will have two choices, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports: “They can either keep the new tail design featuring the American flag or they can go back to the AA logo with an eagle between the As.” More than 200 aircraft have already received the new paint job, so it would be too expensive to completely replace the livery, the newspaper reported. “However you may feel about the new livery and branding, the fact is it would be irresponsible for us to start over from scratch,” Parker said in a letter sent to employees this week. But many employees miss the old AA logo with the eagle.
- How much do Texas teachers make? On average, Lone Star teachers earn $48,110, giving the state a ranking of No. 37 out of 50 states. That’s according to data collected from the National Center for Education Statistics by Jon Boeckenstedt, associate vice president at DePaul University in Chicago. The data reflect average annual salary of teachers in public elementary and secondary schools, The Washington Post reports. The national average is $56,383. Thirteen states pay less than Texas – South Dakota teachers earn the lowest salary: $39,580. Head to the Northeast for some of the highest teacher salaries: New York tops the list at $75,279. Massachusetts is No. 2 at $73,129. Washington, D.C. isn’t a state, but it’s No. 3 on the list at $70,906. Connecticut is No. 4 at $69,766. (Let the salary debate begin: But they get summers off … But they have to work tons of hours during the week and grade papers on the weekend … But they get to teach the nation’s future … But they have to do cafeteria duty …)