“I have had the opportunity to champion hundreds of students in musical and academic achievements throughout the years and it never gets old,” said teacher of the month, Allison Covell.
As orchestra director and chairperson of the music department at Abington Heights High School, she fulfills her passion for working with young adults and helping them grow academically, musically, emotionally and socially. It makes her job easier that she’s dealing with extremely talented young adults.
“You have to constantly challenge them. No matter how difficult I make it; they do it. They’re brilliant,” Covell said.
Covell’s career began with a Bachelor’s degree from Marywood University. She has a Master’s degree in educational leadership with principle certification from Wilkes University. She is currently pursuing a second Master’s degree from Wilkes University in educational technology. This is her 16th year teaching at Abington Heights High School.
For this Wilkes-Barre resident, there have been too many moments of triumph to single any one out. She believes that at some point every teacher comes to realize he or she is empowering a student with knowledge and skills needed to become a productive member of society.
“I like to believe my students leave the classroom knowing there’s someone outside the boundaries who cares and when a former student says they miss me or orchestra? That’s all I need to hear. We have had students who go on to some great careers even if outside of music. However, they continue to play, which is fantastic,” said Covell.
Covell’s professional life has revolved around a field of study she believes in and loves. She said the best part is the dedication of her students. “They inspire me on a daily basis. I’m blessed to have such strong students who are achievement oriented.”
Another up side of her career is that orchestra is an elective, so students sign up because they want to be there. She feels like she has a “little bubble in the music department.”
The most difficult part of her job is challenging her students by throwing professional repartee at them – all 130 who make up the symphony orchestra.
When Covell is not teaching, she is busy with Mark, her husband of six years and their four-year-old son, Aiden. But she finds time to take classes.
Regarding her nomination as Teacher of the Month, Covell said she is touched that someone would appreciate what goes into being an orchestra director and that she has made a difference in someone’s life.
An upcoming event she is excited about is the Abington Heights High School Honors Orchestra performance with Marywood University in April 2014 for a combined concert with Dr. Nat Parker and the Marywood Orchestra.
All in all, for this teacher, life is good, and she sees only an even brighter future for herself and her students.
Covell resides in Wilkes-Barre.