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PHS students are singing their way to honors

Published: Friday, Dec. 20, 2013 3:15 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Dec. 20, 2013 3:17 p.m. CDT

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PRINCETON — The Princeton High School Music Department has gotten some nice state and national recognition during the past few weeks, according to PHS Principal Andy Berlinski.

At Wednesday’s meeting of the PHS Board, Berlinski said the PHS Music Department is one of 123 schools nationwide selected as Grammy Signature Schools semi-finalists for the 2013 year. The finalists will be announced in March, and those selected schools will receive a Grammy Award, as well as a monetary grant to benefit the school’s music program.

According to the Grammy Signature Schools website, PHS is one of about 15 other Illinois school choirs selected for the honor. The other Illinois choirs were primarily from the Chicago area, as well as DeKalb and Freeport.

Berlinski also announced the PHS Concert Choir is one of only three school choirs chosen to perform at this year’s Illinois Music Educators Association’s (IMEA) annual conference, to be held Jan. 23 in Peoria. This is the first time in the school’s history for this honor.

In addition, PHS students Abigail Bickett, Samantha Hult, Anjali Patel and Kelly Schmidt have been selected to perform in the All State Choir at the annual IMEA conference. Only 200 students statewide were selected for the All State Choir and it’s a great honor to have four students from PHS chosen for the choir, he said.

Also, PHS senior Lucas Bauer will attend the IMEA conference as one of seven future music educators selected statewide. Also, Bauer will perform at the upcoming multi-state regional music educators conference in the state of Ohio.

In a special note, Berlinski said the PHS Music Department will present a benefit concert Jan. 19 at the high school, in conjunction with the VanderCook College of Music, to raise money for Cora Peters, a Bureau Valley High School senior who has been battling cancer for four years.

“We have a lot of great things going on in our music department,” Berlinski said. “We need to commend our students in the music department as well as Mr. Crawford (PHS music instructor Brandon Crawford) for all their hard work.”

In other business at Wednesday’s meeting, Superintendent Kirk Haring presented the 2013 tax levy for board approval. The new levy seeks $5,202,813 in property taxes, payable in 2014. The district’s projected equalized assessed valuation (EAV) is estimated at about $248 million, which represents an increase in order to capture any growth in EAV, Haring said. The new tax rate is projected to decrease, down to $2.03, from the current $2.05. The board approved the tax levy as presented.

The board also discussed its board goals, on which the board has worked for the past several months. The proposed goals deal with the areas of environment at the school, finances and curriculum. The goals committee, compiled of board members John Young, Colleen Sailer and Haring, will compile the discussions of the past several months into a written document and then present that document to the full board for final approval, hopefully in February.

In other business, the board recognized Mollie Bates, Sarah Murray, Alexis Fox, Rebecca Hult, Nick Estelle and Doran Cotter as PHS Students of the Month for December.

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