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Music teacher awarded

Role model: Elly Poletti, teacher at Mary MacKillop College is the humble recipient of a national award, the 2018 Unsung Heroes Music Award by EducationHQ, for her dedicated work in providing invaluable music opportunities for students and young people.

ELLY Poletti, music teacher at Mary MacKillop College in Leongatha was crowned the 2018 Unsung Heroes Music Award by EducationHQ– an award that received hundreds of nominations Australia wide.

Ms Poletti was notified when EducationHQ narrowed nominees down to just five, as which point voting was opened to the public.

“The wonderful community got behind me. It’s nice to be recognised for what I do,” she said.

The admirable teacher who works tirelessly to provide her students with invaluable opportunities said she just wanted to be able to provide the experiences that were given to her. 

 “My high school experience was great, but I wasn’t exactly a grade A student. I had really supportive teachers – music teachers in particular – who encouraged me to finish Year 12 when I wanted to leave in Year 10,” Ms Poletti said.

“After finishing my music degree at Monash University I didn’t know what to do, but I knew I wanted to give back to the community like they gave to me.”

The humble teacher said she was eager to “inject some enthusiasm back into the musical arts” when she returned to South Gippsland after study.

When she began teaching at the college two and a half years ago, Ms Poletti had just three VCE music students and very few students in her music department, making her determined to implement some change.

Compare that to now and change is evident, with a thriving music and performing arts program at the school, an exciting upcoming production of The Addams Family and 15 VCE music students.

Ms Poletti said many schools have a huge focus on their sporting communities but many children interested in the performing arts often can feel excluded. She aims to challenge the notion the performing arts aren’t as important as being able to play a sport. 

No doubt, Ms Poletti’s abundance of enthusiastic music students and the many students currently engaged in The Addams Family production speaks volumes of the success, and also the need for performing arts in the school and wider community.  

“My students are talented, compliant, wonderful kids. I have no problems. I’m sure not all teachers would say the same, but I think because they are so passionate they put their best foot forward,” she said.

Last year Ms Poletti implemented a project which involved taking the school choir to perform at elderly homes, as well as the production of a Christmas CD which was gifted to staff.

Directly before she received the award, she had just finished a successful music camp – one that Ms Polletti obtained a $15,000 grant from Regional Arts Victoria for.

The music camp organised by Ms Poletti was held in Leongatha and invited students from all schools in the area to attend.

“We were able to use the vacant shops in Leongatha and the kids and I jammed for three days,” she said.

The camp was such a sensation that schools and children have asked that it be held again this year, with Ms Poletti once again assigning herself the task of organising.

“We are looking into it again this year and looking into more funding options. Hopefully we can run it in September,” she said.

A Musica Viva education pack valued at $1500 was also awarded to Ms Poletti which will see some of Australia’s finest musicians visit her and her colleague to provide professional development, including up to 10 weeks’ worth of lesson plans, and a demonstration for their students this year.

Short URL: https://thestar.com.au/?p=28090

Posted by on Mar 27 2019. Filed under Community. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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