RIVER FALLS – On Jan. 15, the Wisconsin Choral Directors Association recognized River Falls High School choir director and vocal teacher Sarah Plum as the 2022 Outstanding Young Choral Director. …
RIVER FALLS – On Jan. 15, the Wisconsin Choral Directors Association recognized River Falls High School choir director and vocal teacher Sarah Plum as the 2022 Outstanding Young Choral Director.
The award comes from the Wisconsin branch of the choral directors’ association, which is also a national group. They recognize teachers who have shown initiative and achieved accomplishments in the state each year.
This year, fellow teachers and co-workers nominated Plum for this year’s award. She said she found out in late De-
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“I was notified of the award in late December,” Plum said. “I was actually at a basketball game watching one of my students play and I got their email and I showed it to my husband right away and we both were really excited.”
The qualifications for the award are all based within nominations, which Plum said makes the award such an honor to receive.
“I had no idea that I had been nominated but some of my colleagues nominated me and the board gets a list of nominees and then they select from that and they happened to select me,” she said. “It is an honor that someone thought of me to nominate.”
Unfortunately, at the time of the ceremony where she was to be recognized, she was quarantined.
“I was quarantined when the ceremony took place which was such a bummer but luckily my husband was able to go in my place and accept the award for me still,” she said.
Her husband represented her along with a few River Falls students who were in Milwaukee at that time for the all-state choir. Although she was not able to accept her award in person at the ceremony, she said the faculty still made sure to congratulate her during the Jan. 25 school board meeting.
“The school district knew that that had happened and they were really kind and presented the award to me at the board meeting last week,” Plum said.
Plum grew up in a small town near Rice Lake called Cameron. She loves the similar small town feel that River Falls offers.
“River Falls felt a lot bigger than my hometown but still connected and it felt like a small town with a lot more opportunities, and I really like that about River Falls,” she said.
After graduating from UW-Eau Claire, she applied for the position she currently holds in the River Falls School District. She knew she wanted to go into a music program and work within the field.
“They have a really strong music program, so that is one of the bigger schools to go to if you want to get a degree in music and that is where I ended up going,” she said.
This is her fourth year teaching at River Falls.
“River Falls was my first interview that I had and when I was lucky enough to know someone on the interview committee and it worked out well to have a connection with that person from my hometown and so I’ve only taught in the River Falls district,” she said.
She loves the environment and the students in the district and is ready to take on another full year. Her favorite part of her job as a choir director is her students.
“The students are my favorite part of my job, hands down. They make everything worth any stress that comes with the job and I think the reason I was even considered for the award is because of the kids in our program,” Plum said. “They make it such a great place to be and they make you want to work hard for them and they are so passionate, so it makes me more passionate.”