It is with great pleasure that Carousel Players welcomes Lori Moccio, an Arts teacher for Grades 1 to 8 at Jeanne Sauvé French Immersion School in St. Catharines,  as the 2016 recipient of the Norah Morgan Memorial Award.

This award, named after influential international drama education pioneer and Carousel Players ambassador Norah Morgan, is presented annually to an elementary school teacher who has made a significant contribution to the arts in a regional Niagara school.

School principal Candi Sitko who nominated Mrs. Moccio said, “Lori is passionate about teaching through the arts and engaging students in creative, authentic ways and has taught the arts to all elementary grades throughout her career. In addition to her teaching talents, Lori was part of a visionary team for DSBN Arts and the Elementary Arts Council. She is an engaging, knowledgeable and approachable teacher leader who has led DSBN initiatives such as the Niagara Elementary Music Festival, created many after school workshops and served as a great mentor to help DSBN teachers integrate the music curriculum into their classrooms.”

“It is an honour to be nominated by my school and to receive this wonderful award from Carousel Players,” said Lori Moccio. “From an early age, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. After graduating from the University of Western Ontario with a music degree and obtaining a teaching degree at Brock, I taught for 4 years in Toronto and then moved back to Niagara where I’ve enjoyed teaching at 4 different schools:  Crowland Central, Richmond Street, Briardale, and Jeanne Sauvé French Immersion. My great joy is to teach the arts cross-curricularly and to find ways that every child in our school can fully participate in the arts. In Grade 4, for example, we used science vocabulary about herbivores, carnivores and omnivores to create rhythmic patterns. We then layered all the patterns and performed them in many different ways, using our bodies as instruments and eventually creating a whole class dance. In our Grade 2 classes we looked at images of different geographical landmarks in Canada. We made up a movement for each of our images and then danced all of Canada from west to east. We repeated the same lesson and selected and mapped geographic features in Niagara like the Welland Canal, Niagara Falls, the Escarpment, and created dances for each of them. We ended the class by dancing places on our map of Niagara!”

On January 12th at the District School Board of Niagara (DSBN) Trustees meeting, the Norah Morgan Memorial Award will be presented to Mrs. Moccio by Debra McLauchlan, Chair of the Carousel Players Board of Directors.  Mrs. Moccio’s school will also receive a free performance of Carousel Players Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin. The play by Carousel’s Artistic Director Jessica Carmichael is for ages 4 and up is a celebration of music, imagination, multicultural themes, and intergenerational stories.

Congratulations Mrs. Moccio, and thank you for sharing your love of the arts with Niagara’s youth!