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updated: 3/15/2013 12:07 PM

Heart of the School Award

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  • Ms. Allison Melville, St. Mary School Heart of the School Recipient

    Ms. Allison Melville, St. Mary School Heart of the School Recipient
    St. Mary School

St. Mary School Public Relations

Saint Mary School Buffalo Grove proudly announces that Ms. Allison Melville has been awarded the 2013 Heart of the School Award by the Archdioceses of Chicago. According to the Archdioceses "The 2013 Heart of the School awardees were chosen from a record 589 nominees of our 6,000+ educators from 250 schools in Cook and Lake Counties. These individuals are being recognized for their outstanding, unique and innovative accomplishments in Catholic education..."

Melville teaches eighth grade religion and is also the music teacher for Kindergarten through eighth grade at Saint Mary School. She is an alumnus of the school and has been on the teaching staff for the past 3 years.

In an interview Melville spoke about her time as a student at Saint Mary School and becoming a teacher. "I attended Saint Mary School in Buffalo Grove, but never appreciated my incredible Catholic education until I attended a public high school. In those teenage years, I longed for the sense of community as well as the faith and values education that I had experienced at Saint Mary. In my college years, I spent time teaching in a number of public schools but never really felt "at home" in any of the buildings in which I taught. It was not until I began my first position at Saint Margaret Mary School in Algonquin and later my current position at my alma mater in which I realized that God had spent my high school and college years preparing me to teach in Catholic schools.

During my three years, I have created and directed a twenty voice Girls Chorus and a thirty-five voice Guys Choir with the school children, ensembles made up of fifth through eighth grade students who sing for various sacred services and secular performances. Last year, I was asked to direct the parish Children's Choir and as a result, brought the choir's enrollment from seven children to fifty-five children within a few months, three-quarters of which are school children.

The most important piece of my job is the melding of my two worlds - music education and religious education. I use our school's liturgical music as the medium through which I teach the musical concepts and skills that are applicable to each grade level."

Principal Nikki Raftery said "Allison's appreciation for God's impact in our lives and His plan for each of us is unrivaled; she brings her faith to every single one of her classes and shares it with her students. Our students are learning how to recognize God in their lives and respond to Him in active ways because of Miss Melville's influence at school. Allison truly deserves to be recognized in this way. I am so proud of her and grateful that we are blessed with her talents!" Melville was recently accepted and has entered into a very selective Masters of Music program at DePaul University.

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