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Teen Can Be Vocal About Vacation

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Students returning from winter break this week are undoubtedly enjoying the back-to-school rite of exaggerating their skiing and snowboarding conquests and tallying the number of end-of-the-year movies they sat through.

The genuine bragging rights, however, belong to Alemany High School freshman Amy Recino, who sang in nine performances of the Los Angeles Music Center’s production of the children’s opera “The Fantastic Mr. Fox.”

The 14-year-old, who also performs with the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, was one of four young actors selected to sing principal roles in the popular Roald Dahl opera.

The Mission Hills student began singing at age 8. She said she got serious about her craft two years ago after joining the Pasadena-based Children’s Chorus, from which she learned proper vocal technique.

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“This is the first opera I’ve performed in, and it’s a lot of fun,” said Amy, who hopes to pursue a professional singing career. “I always want to just do my best, and hope people like it.”

PROGRAM NOTES

Dedicated: What better way to recognize a beloved school crossing guard than to dedicate a patch of grass and wooden bench in her honor? That is just what Burbank’s Stevenson Elementary School students and staff did at a recent ceremony for Beverly Johnson, who has been guiding schoolchildren to safety for nine years.

Severely ill and currently on leave, Johnson managed to show up at the dedication attended by Burbank Vice Mayor Stacey Murphy and Police Chief Dave Newsham.

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KUDOS

Carpe Diem: The Mirman School’s Latin students seized top honors at the recent Southern California Regional Amici Madness, or SCRAM, competition in Irvine. The Encino students participated in a number of activities, including a game-show competition in which the teams were tested in Latin grammar, vocabulary, Roman history and classical mythology.

Bravo: Nine local teachers and two area schools have been nominated for the Los Angeles County Music Center’s 1998-99 Bravo Awards, which honors excellence in arts education. Sponsored by the Music Center’s Club 100, the nominees are among 66 educators from 38 Southern California school districts under consideration for the award.

Ten finalists will be selected from among the nominees, then a panel of judges will visit the finalists’ schools this month and next for a firsthand look at their arts programs. One school and two teachers will be selected for the cash awards that will be handed out Feb. 22 at the Biltmore Hotel.

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This year’s nominees are: Pierre Odler of Glendale’s Hoover High School; Christine Rose, Glendale High School; Pamela Lefko, Camellia Avenue Elementary School in North Hollywood; Jacqueline Young of Woodland Hills’ George Hale Middle School; Barry Vichnick, West Valley Community Education Center in Van Nuys; Samantha Carson, Skyblue Mesa Elementary School, and Randall Gilpin, Canyon High School in Canyon Country; Matthew McKagan, Lindero Canyon Middle School in Agoura Hills; Amy Friedlander, Medea Creek Middle School, Agoura; Nancy Whitson and Cathe Jacobs, The Buckley School, Sherman Oaks; and Nancy Carsten and Georgan Schmitz, Carden Conejo School, Westlake Village.

Class Notes appears every Wednesday. Send news about schools to the Valley Edition, Los Angeles Times, 20000 Prairie St., Chatsworth 91311. Or fax it to (818) 772-3338. Or e-mail them to diane.wedner@latimes.com.


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