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U-46 Student Musicians to be Honored by Board of Education

March 6, 2023 

Twelve U-46 high school students will be recognized by the Board of Education Monday with an “Accent on Achievement” for their outstanding achievements as musicians.

Ten of the students participated in the Illinois Music Education Association (ILMEA) competitive audition process to be named All-State Musicians, the highest musical achievement for high schoolers in Illinois. Selected students performed at the ILMEA’s annual music education conference in Peoria in late January.

Two of the students were selected to play in the pit orchestra of the All-State Production of “Shrek the Musical” on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in early January. The students submitted audition recordings to the Illinois High School Theatre Festival and were selected from hundreds of submissions from around the state.

“We are proud of the strength of our U-46 music programs and the dedication of our music teachers to help our students be the best they can be,” said Jaimie Giraldo, U-46 Coordinator of Fine Arts. “These accomplishments by our exceptional student musicians speak volumes of their commitment to excellence and pride in their musical growth.”

In addition, Larsen Middle School math teacher Hector J. Hernandez Jr. will be honored with an Accent for being selected to head the crew of the All-State Production. Hernandez co-leads the Larsen drama club and is the executive director for the 2024 Illinois High School Theatre Festival.

The Board of Education will recognize the following students with “Accent on Achievement” certificates at 7 p.m. Monday, March 6, in room 140 at the Educational Services Center. The U-46 Board of Education meeting will also be streamed live on the District’s YouTube channel 


All State Musicians - Bartlett High School

Eric Fox, Senior, Honors Chorus, Tenor I

Ethan Wankel, Junior, All-State Chorus, Bass I

Zoey Helle-Kuczynski, Junior, Future Music Educators Symposium


All State Musicians - Elgin High School

Madeline Conter, Senior, Honors Chorus, Alto I 

Stephanie Skrabacz, Senior, All-State Band, Bb Clarinet

Diego Gomez, Junior, Future Music Educators Symposium


All State Musicians - Larkin High School

Madelyn Dobbeck, Senior, Honors Band, Trumpet 


All State Musicians - South Elgin High School

Alejandro Diaz, Senior, Honors Chorus, Tenor I 

Haley Leuze, Senior, All-State Chorus, Tenor I 

Taylor Picha, Senior, Honors Band, Flute 


All-State Production - Bartlett High School

Sarah Walser, Junior, Pit Orchestra, Bass 


All-State Production - Streamwood High School

Sarah Ballenger, Sophomore, Pit Orchestra, Violin


The Board will also recognize the vital role social workers play in schools as part of National School Social Work Week, March 5-11, 2023. Mary Abbott, lead school social worker in U-46, will accept the “Accent on Achievement” certificate on behalf of the District’s social workers.