Skylar Galati, a junior at Kingsway Regional High School, is earning a varsity letter for her work on the stage, not on the field.

In a pioneering move, the 2,700-student Kingsway Regional School District in Gloucester County will begin conferring the honor on actors, singers, dancers, and other eligible students in the high school’s well-regarded performing arts program.

A seven-inch fabric “K” similar to those earned by athletes will be awarded to Galati and about 100 of her peers at Kingsway’s annual Performing Arts Banquet on March 19.

To which I say: Bravo!

“I’m looking forward to it,” says Galati, a 17-year-old Mullica Hill resident.   A soprano, she already has a resumé packed with semiprofessional and school performances in musical theater productions.

“The letters are fabulous,” says her mother, Ceri, a paralegal who took it upon herself to launch the letters effort last year.

“Other parent groups in other districts have reached out to me to see how they can make this happen in their schools,” she adds.

The New Jersey School Boards Association began calling for expansion of varsity letter criteria 35 years ago. It cites five other New Jersey high schools that award them for non-athletic accomplishments. Among them is Rancocas Valley Regional in Mount Holly, which has awarded varsity letters for academic achievement for the last 13 years.

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Kevin Riordan
Philadelphia Inquirer /