St. Mary's Co. Public Schools News Briefs

Great Mills High School Student to Perform with the 2013 NAfME All-National Honor Mixed Choir

Lovell Rose from Great Mills High School in Great Mills, Md., has been selected as a member of the 2013 NAfME All-National Honor Mixed Choir sponsored by the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). Lovell Rose will join more than 670 of the most musically talented and skilled high school students in the United States to perform at a gala concert on October 30, 2013, in Nashville, Tenn.

These exceptional students will prepare remarkably challenging music that they will perform under the baton of four of the most prominent conductors in the United States: Dr. Peter Boonshaft, Miriam Burns, Rollo Dilworth, and Rodney Whitaker.

"We are thrilled to be sending one of our own to represent Maryland and St. Mary's County Public Schools as a Bass (vocalist) in this prestigious honor ensemble. Lovell has been involved in the performing arts in St. Mary's County Public Schools since elementary school, participating in chorus, band, marching band, musicals, and plays. He is a talented young man and has made everyone here extremely proud!" - Laurel P. Dietz, Supervisor of Instruction for Fine Arts, St. Mary's County Public Schools.

The NAfME All-National Honors Ensembles, consisting of a concert band, symphony orchestra, mixed chorus, and jazz ensemble, are organized by members of the National Association for Music Education. The concert band and symphony orchestra will each have approximately 150 instrumentalists, the jazz ensemble will have 20 instrumentalists, and the mixed chorus will have approximately 350 vocalists. Eligible students have qualified for their state-level honor ensemble program and competed against top students for a spot in these national honor ensembles.

The 2013 NAfME All-National Honors Ensembles will perform for an audience of thousands on Wednesday, October 30, 2013, in the Presidential Ballroom of the Gaylord Opryland Hotel, in Nashville, TN. For program and ticket information, please visit

Groundbreaking for Captain Walter Francis Duke Elementary School

St. Mary's County Public Schools is one of the fastest growing counties in the State of Maryland. The school system has a growth rate of 4.7% increase over the past five years, while surrounding counties have either decreased by as much as 5.3% or remained constant. In FY 13, the Public School Construction Program approved planning for a new elementary school in Leonardtown, Maryland. The school will be built on property adjacent to the Leonard's Grant community and will be a prototype of Evergreen Elementary School, which will include the sustainable features for energy conservation and will be environmentally friendly. The facility was designed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) criteria for silver. Given the rich military heritage of our community, the Board of Education wanted the name of this facility to reflect our patriotic heritage. The Board of Education, at their meeting on April 10, 2013, approved the naming of the new elementary school to honor a local military hero, Captain Walter Francis Duke. The name of the school will honor this brave individual, who represents the values of men and women who serve or have served in the armed forces. Within the school, each branch of the armed forces will be recognized. In FY 14, state and local funding agencies provided the funding for this project to move to the construction phase.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the Captain Walter Francis Duke Elementary School will be held on Tuesday, October 8, 2013, at 9:00 a.m. The site is located off of Leonard's Grant Parkway. Please note that in the event of inclement weather, the groundbreaking will be held at 9:00 a.m. at the Dr. James A. Forrest Career and Technology Center, which is located at 24005 Point Lookout Road, Leonardtown, Maryland 20650.

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