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“It is my job to inspire,” says Adriane Falco.
And for Falco, providing an opportunity for every student to perform is part of that inspiration. To create these opportunities, she has written nine elementary stage musicals, complete with props, costumes, speaking parts, vocal solos, and incorporating the school choir.
“She doesn’t just teach us about music, she lets us express ourselves through music,” said one student.
Recently, a long-time teacher from the school died in her sleep. As a member of the school’s Crisis Team, Falco served as a relief teacher – consoling students and substituting for teachers when they needed to process emotions.
A current student wrote her account of that day, “The only thing I could think of doing is making her a song that everyone could remember her by and celebrate the admirable person she was. So I knew I had to go to Mrs. Falco for help in putting my poem to music.”
Falco earned a bachelor’s degree in music education from Kansas State University in 2007 and a master’s degree in education from Avila University in 2010. In 2014, she earned her administrative building level licensure from Fort Hays State University. Her first professional teaching post began in 2007 in Blue Springs, MO. She began in her current position at Stanley Elementary School in Overland Park in 2010.
“I have witnessed quiet, shy children belting out a song as loud as their voices allow, and you can see how genuinely happy they are to be there,” said one colleague. “Equally amazing is the pride beaming from every student as they stand on stage and execute their individual role as if the show would fall apart without their contribution.”
In addition to participating in performances, Falco applies for and receives grants for every student in her building to attend a performing arts event – ballet, theater, or symphony. For a recent musical about America, Falco extended an invitation to family members of students who were veterans.
Knowing how much an audience can be moved by performances and art, she regularly volunteers the elementary choir to sing at a local retirement home and has students make valentine’s for patients at Children’s Mercy Hospital. She created, implemented, and manages logistics of an after-school program called BLAST – Big Learning After School Time – allowing students extracurricular time to explore everything from yoga to Legos.
A parent states, “Ms. Falco inspires her students to be not only the best of who they are, but to imagine beyond into a world of fantasy and wonder.”