Highland News Leader

HIASAA Hall of Fame nominee: Lori Ruebhausen, Arts & Science

Lori Ruebhausen has raised the level of appreciation of music for her students and the entire community.

Ruebhausen began her career with Highland School District in 1982. She has served as director of choral activities at the high school and been a music teacher at all of the grade levels from kindergarten up through her tenure.

Ruebhausen graduated from high school in 1977 in Riverside, Calif. She attended Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and graduated in 1982 with a B.S. in music education. She received her master’s of music education from SIUE in 1996.

Ruebhausen increased the enrollment of HHS choruses by 30 percent within two years of taking the job and doubled the enrollment by 2002-03. She implemented and started many extra-curricular programs, such as Jazz Choir, an elite Jazz Ensemble, and the HHS Coffeehouse Cabaret.

She has also served as director of music for the annual Madrigal Dinner since 1997, and overall director of the Madrigal Dinner since 2006. Ruebhausen has enlarged the Madrigal program from 12 singers to over 60 singers and numerous instrumentalists, increasing the program to year-long as opposed to seasonal, as well as personally writing and arranging numerous pieces.

Today, the Madrigal Singers, under the direction of Ruebhausen, are considered ambassadors of the school district. Currently, the Madrigal Singers represent Highland in at least 25 public and private performances throughout the area and have been annual performers at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival since 1999, with much acclaim.

Ruebhausen has proposed, implemented, and taught many new courses at the high school, enriching the music program in the Highland School District. She takes her assorted choirs and groups to festivals, IHSA organizational contests and many other events to sing. Many honors and awards have come to her students. She has also chaired and co-chaired the IMEA District VI High School Choral division. She has served on many local, county, and state wide committees. Her list of chairmanships and participation on numerous committees is expansive and too large to list.

Some of Ruebhausen’s awards are the SIUE Excellence in Teaching Award in 2006, Readers Choice First Place Teacher in 2009, Readers Choice Second Runner-up Teacher in 2014, and the Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award in 2016.

Ruebhausen has many publications, presentations, and workshops to add to her extensive resume, including, “Teaching About the Holocaust Through Music in an Integrated Curriculum,” which was also her master’s thesis; she has presented this workshop at numerous institutes in several counties. She has also been guest director for numerous events and organizations throughout the area. She has presented workshops at the Madison County Teachers Institute and for other high schools in the area. She has created lesson plans to build and extend the work of the Illinois State Board of Education Learning Standards through ICAP (Integrated Curriculum Arts Project). This project was sponsored by the Illinois Alliance for Arts Education and funded by the Illinois State Board of Education.

Other Arts & Science category nominees are longtime Highland art teacher Pat Imming and outdoors writers Larry Mueller.

HIASAA Hall of Fame Voting Procedures

When is voting? Voting will take place from May 1-31. All ballots must by in the hands of Highland Illinois Area Schools Alumni Association (HIASAA) by May 31.

Who can vote? Any alumni of any school within the boundaries of the Highland School District or any employees of these schools. Need not have graduated from school, just attended. To be able to vote, alumni or employees must be a paid member of HIASAA.

How do I become a member? Go to the association website highlandilalumni.com. There is a place to register online and an option to use PayPal to pay your dues. Or, you can send the application and a check to HIASAA, 400 Broadway, Highland, IL 62249. Membership dues are $10 per year, $40 for a five-year membership, or $100 for a lifetime membership. All memberships are for the calendar year, starting Jan. 1.

How do I vote? From May 1-31, you can obtain a downloadable ballot on the website. Ballots must be completed and mailed to HIASAA, 400 Broadway, Highland, IL 62249. All ballots must be received by May 31. he Board of Directors will count the ballots in early June and letters will be sent informing all nominees of the results. If anyone needs a ballot or wants to join the association but does not have computer access, they should contact Sherry Fletcher, HIASAA board secretary, at 618-654-6266 for a ballot or membership application. If you have any questions, contact Fletcher at the above phone number.