The day before Lori (Smits) Evenhouse ’05 graduated with her music degree from Trinity, she signed a contract to teach at Parker Junior High School in Flossmoor, Illinois.
Nine years later, she continues to teach music to her junior high students and takes on an additional role in the world of music as Junior/Senior General Music Division Vice President of the Illinois Music Education Association. The mission of the association is to promote lifelong music learning and to provide leadership for music education.
In this role, Evenhouse will focus on growing the field of music for teachers, including opportunities for professional development and dissemination of information on trends in music education. She leads a council of nine teachers from various districts in Illinois who meet throughout the year to plan ways to support schools in developing music programs.
In addition, Evenhouse participates in the planning of the Illinois Music Education Conference in Peoria, held this year in January. The conference features keynote speakers, various sessions, concerts, and a recital performed by the winners of the student composition contest that saw 150 entries in 15 categories.
It’s all one experience.
Evenhouse said the early opportunities to be involved as a Trinity freshman in leadership roles prepared her for future leadership. She said that preparation, as well as the mentoring from professors, are unique to Trinity.
“After graduation, I had the confidence to take on leadership roles in education,” said Evenhouse, also noting the holistic approach to education at Trinity.
“A Trinity, education is interconnected. There are not different spheres of learning; the academic, spiritual, and social are all one experience.”