Princeton Music Department Staff
Kristen Brown has a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education and a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She is an active member of the Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) where she has been Secretary/Treasurer, President, Honor Band Chair, All-State Band Chair, Professional Conference Clinician, and Adjudicator. She earned her National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in 2007. She received the honor of Princeton City Schools Educator of the Year in 2008. Through the Ohio Department of Education, she is a Resident Educator Mentor and a Master Teacher. In her 32nd year of teaching, she currently teaches Band in grades 6-12 at Princeton and is the 6-12 Music Department Head and Tri-M Advisor.Jaclyn Ballman has been teaching in the Princeton City School District since 2000. Prior to her employment at Princeton, she received a Bachelor of Music Education Degree from Miami University. She has also earned her Masters of Music Education at Miami University. Ms. Ballman makes time for music outside of school serving as a vocalist and keyboard player at Community Christian Church in Hamilton. She has received awards for singing including placing as a finalist at the National Association of Teachers of Singing competition at Bowling Green University. When she is not teaching or singing she is enjoying time with her two children, Jenna and Brady.Syndy Casey, a 30+ year veteran teacher, has taught in public, private and charter school systems through the United States. A Princeton alumnus (class of 1983), Ms. Casey has her bachelor’s degree in Music Education with a minor in cello performance from Loyola University, New Orleans. She has a master’s degree in Vedic Science from Maharishi University in Fairfield, Iowa, and is currently working on her Doctor of Educational Leadership at Maryville University, in St. Louis, Missouri. Ms. Casey has also earned Master Teacher status in the state of Ohio.Ms. Casey currently teaches orchestras 6-12 at Princeton Community Middle School and Princeton High School and directed the Princeton Spring Musical from 2015-2020. Ms. Casey is an active member of the National Association for Music Education and the Ohio Middle Level Association, where she serves as a state presenter and Southwest District Associate. Ms. Casey, along with her colleagues, was a recipient of the Princeton Board of Education’s Dream Keeper award in 2017.Ms. Casey has 2 grown children, Nicholas and Catherine. She lives in Glendale with her husband, Tom Barrett and their Yorkie/JackRussell Terrier, Sadie. David Dendler is in his 23rd year of teaching vocal music at Princeton; 36 total years in music education. He earned his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Vocal/ Piano Music Education from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. He is a composer/ arranger/ vocalist/ pianist who has been published in Plank Road Publishing's Music K-8 Magazine, General Music Today, and Music Educators Journal. Mr. Dendler has performed the National Anthem for the Cincinnati Reds, Cincinnati Bengals, and Cincinnati Cyclones. Mr. Dendler and his family live in Liberty Township.Andrew Fermier began his collegiate career as a Jazz Studies saxophone major at the University of Cincinnati - College Conservatory of Music before transferring to the Ohio State University, graduating with a Bachelor of the Arts in Music. Mr. Fermier has studied saxophone from local legend and CCM faculty Rick VanMatre, as well as Columbus musicians Shawn Wallace, Pete Mills, and Capital University faculty member Dr. Michael Cox.This is Mr. Fermier’s second year in the Princeton City School District, having previously taught at Evendale Elementary School. Mr. Fermier began his musical journey as a 4th-grade trumpet player in the Philadelphia area. His family moved to Chicago while he was in middle school, and it is here that his passion for music really took off. While living in Chicago, a deep love of jazz was born and relationships were built with several key teachers who would prove to be lifelong musical mentors. Mr. Fermier has maintained a steady performing schedule over the years, beginning as a teenager, playing in small jazz groups, rock bands, horn-driven funk groups, large jazz ensembles, and continues to perform with a prominent Columbus-based fusion group. In his spare time, Mr. Fermier enjoys spending time with his wife, 3 boys, and dog. Heather Hurley graduated from Miami University of Oxford, Ohio with a Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Education. She has been teaching in the Princeton City School District since 2014. Prior to her employment at Princeton, she taught middle and high school band at Community Unit School District 300 in Algonquin, Illinois. Ms. Hurley currently teaches ZBCB (Zero Bell Concert Band), 7th Grade Band, PCMS General Music, assists with the PHS Bands and is an Assistant Director for the Pride of Princeton Marching Band. She was the recipient of the Princeton Board of Education Dream Keeper Award in 2017. She makes time for music outside of school, serving as an instrumentalist at Fairhaven Church in Centerville, Ohio. When she is not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Sean, 6-year-old daughter, Braelynn, 4-year-old son, Carrick, and newborn son, Roàn. Marie Knueven is one of the orchestra directors at PCMS and PHS. Ms. Knueven earned a Bachelor of Music Education Degree from the University of Louisville and a Masters in Music Education Degree from the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. Prior to teaching at Princeton, she taught elementary, middle, and high school orchestra in Warren County Public Schools in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Ms. Knueven is a member of the National Association for Music Education, Ohio Music Education Association, American String Teachers Association, Jazz Education Network, and Bass Club Cincinnati. Ms. Knueven is a locally performing bassist and tubist. She is also an active member of Saint Francis Xavier Church, where she sings in the choir.
Todd Leonhardt has enjoyed twenty-seven years as a music educator. Before he joined the Princeton Team of music educators, he spent eleven years in the Fairfield City School District. Mr. Leonhardt earned his Bachelor's Degree in Education from the University of Akron and his Master's Degree in Educational Leadership from Miami University, Oxford. His current teaching responsibilities include Jazz Ensemble, Scarlet Band, Band 6, Band 7, and Band 8. He was the recipient of the Princeton Board of Education Dream Keeper Award in 2017.
Mr. Leonhardt enjoys spending time with his wife and two children. He is blessed to have a family that all share in the passion of making music. Mr. Leonhardt and his wife co-direct a community steel drum band named Divine Steel.
Angie McClellan graduated from Miami University with a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education, K-12. She completed her Master's Degree in Curriculum Design from Wright State University. Mrs. McClellan also attended Morehead State University from age 11-18 and studied piano privately under the direction of Jay Flippin and Dr. Lucretia Stetler. After graduating from Miami, Mrs. McClellan began teaching elementary music in the Princeton City School District at RELIS. Mrs. McClellan is married to the boy who lived across the street from her first piano teacher. Her son, Alec is a senior at Ohio University majoring in sports management. He is currently the student manager of the Men's Basketball team. Her daughter, Livia, is a junior at the University of Kentucky where she is majoring in Elementary Education. Mrs. McClellan owns her own piano studio in Loveland where she currently teaches 38 private students. Shelley Miley has been a music teacher at Princeton since 2000. Mrs. Miley holds two degrees from EKU; a Bachelor of Music Education with vocal emphasis and a Master of Music in Choral Conducting. While at EKU she studied voice with Ms. Joan Boewe and Mr. Scott DeWeese, and she studied conducting with Dr. David Greenlee. Shelley performed for 7 years with "Stephen Foster the Musical" in Bardstown, Kentucky, including a three-week tour of Japan. Mrs. Miley was the guest conductor for the Jefferson County (KY) Public Schools All-County Middle School Treble Chorus in 2013. She has recently been a member of the Clermont Festival Chorale. She is a member of NAfMe and is the site chair for the OMEA District 14 Junior High Honor Choir. Mrs. Miley resides in Milford with her husband, Robert, and their two children.
Kyle Phillips is currently in his thirteenth year of teaching, with the last ten spent at Princeton City Schools. Mr. Phillips received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Miami University in 2010 and is currently completing coursework to earn his Masters of Music Education degree, also from Miami University. Currently, Mr. Phillips teaches Jazz 7, Jazz 8, Jazz Lab, Band 6, General Music, Gray Band, Basketball Band, and is the director of the Pride of Princeton Marching Band.
In addition to teaching at Princeton, he is a member of the trumpet section in the Southwest Ohio Symphonic Band. In his spare time, Mr. Phillips enjoys cooking, spending time with his nieces and nephews, and exploring Cincinnati.
Lesley Schultz has been an orchestra director in the Princeton City Schools since 2008. She earned her Bachelors of Music Education from West Virginia University and her Masters of Music Education from Ohio University. Miss Schultz teaches a wide variety of music classes at Princeton, including Guitar and Music Technology. She was the recipient of the Princeton Board of Education Dream Keeper Award in 2017. Miss Schultz maintains an active performance schedule as a violist around the state with several regional symphony orchestras. In her spare time, she enjoys knitting.