The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

March 14, 2013

Geneva choir to compete at Florida event

Star Beacon

GENEVA — March marks the beginning of a new season — spring! With the change of seasons comes a change of activities, and Geneva High School students are quick to get involved.

The weather isn’t the only thing that’s warming up at GHS. This month is an especially exciting time for members of the vocal music department, including Women’s Chorale, and Geneva’s Image (G.I.’s). The first upcoming event for choir members is the fifth annual Broadway Dinner Show. The show features performances from each vocal group and several solo acts. All soloists had to audition for their performances, so audience members can be sure they are in for an exciting and entertaining evening.

The dinner will be catered, as always, by Mary’s Diner, and will feature a full buffet. This event will take place on March 21 in the common area of the high school. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the dinner begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 for students and $25 for adults. Please call vocal director Michelle Mather at (440) 466-4831 extension 4614 to check on ticket availability.

Another exciting happening within the vocal music department is the GHS choir’s upcoming trip to Disney World. More than 60 members of the choirs will be going on the trip, which will consist of a musical competition and plenty of sight-seeing.

“We will be staying in the park, so we will have the opportunity to go to the parks a lot. But honestly, I’m most excited for the competition. I want to win,” said G.I.’s member Zack Rohrbaugh.

Schools will travel from across the country to compete. In the show choir category alone, nine other schools will vie for awards. The G.I.’s will be performing three songs, including “Anyway” made popular by Martina McBride. Students have worked very hard this year to raise funds for the trip, which will cost about $1,000 per student. Every Wednesday after school they hold a pizza sale, and they have also sold many Music Booster raffle tickets. Some students have even saved money on their own to participate.

“I worked all year to be involved in this. I’m a junior, and I figured this would probably be the last major opportunity I had before college, so I’m going,” said Jake Avsec. “And, I’ve never been to Disney World, so it should be well worth the money.”

Good luck choir students!

Another group who will be taking a trip this month, a little closer to home, is Geneva’s Chapter of Project Love. Project Love is a national organization, founded in 1984 by Stuart and Susan Muszynski, to promote kindness, caring and mutual respect among, for and through our children. Geneva High School is the only school in the county with a Project Love chapter, which is in its 13th year. For the past several years, Project Love has been able to participate in an all-day seminar sponsored on a national level. The seminar teaches students the difference between a perpetrator and a rescuer, and how to take a stand for kindness and be the rescuer. The experience also shows students how to choose kindness as a way of making a positive change in the culture of their school to make it a nicer place to be. This year, sophomores and juniors will attend the seminar at Geneva Community Center during the last week of March. Senior group leaders nominated by staff will also be in attendance. Jessica George, faculty adviser for Project Love, hopes the seminar will help Geneva’s student body to become more compassionate.

“The seminars give students tools to become better leaders, and I hope that the students will use the tools and the information they receive and be leaders in their schools and communities. The most important thing is that students be proactive, instead of reactive,” Mrs. George said.

Geneva’s chapter of National Honor Society will also be taking a trip along with NHS members from Grand River Academy. Both groups have been invited to the spring dinner annually hosted by the Geneva Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. The dinner will take place Monday at Geneva Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6846. NHS students will be recognized for their outstanding achievements and hard work. Students and their parents will be able to enjoy dinner, and have the opportunity to hear Susan Stocker, dean of Kent State University Ashtabula Campus. Congratulations on your achievements and keep up the good work!

Lastly, both Geneva High School students and community members will soon be able to take a trip back to the past. New visitors to Geneva High School often notice a trophy case directly outside the main office. This case holds photos and other items that showcase a few of our many talented alumni. Principal Douglas Wetherholt hopes to increase the number of alumni recognized there.

“Geneva High School offers unique educational experiences to our students. Highlighting the achievements of some of our many successful graduates gives our students something to be proud of, and inspires them to reach for new and original visions of their own,” said Mr. Wetherholt.

Tanya Pilumeli, a 1991 graduate of Geneva High School, is one of the many alumni whose success is displayed in the trophy case. In 2008, she published her first novel, “The DragonFly Keeper.”

“I read ‘The DragonFly Keeper’ for the English Festival in eighth grade. The book was great, and the fact that the author came from Geneva was really inspiring. I could write a book if I wanted,” said senior Spencer Huggins.

In addition to the display case, Mr. Wetherholt also plans to organize and post a gallery of successful Geneva graduates on his web page on the Geneva Area City Schools website. Anyone wishing to nominate an alumnus to be recognized and included in the display and web page should email a photo and a brief biography of the nominee directly to

Finally, a reminder to students and parents that spring break is March 29 to April 5. Geneva High School students would like to thank the community for its continuous support.