“I cannot imagine any job more exciting and rewarding than singing, dancing, and playing with children everyday.”
Those are the sentiments of Music Education alumna and elementary music teacher Marti Fucile, who has taught general music, chorus, and recorder in preschool through sixth grade for more than twenty years. Fucile’s enthusiasm for her work and her innovative programming at Stenwood Elementary in Fairfax County, Virginia, garnered her the School of Music’s 2010 Outstanding Alumni Music Educator Award. Fucile has taught at Stenwood for the past fifteen years, and the school has honored her with the Principal’s Award of Excellence and named her Teacher of the Year in recognition of her efforts to celebrate the school’s diversity and develop its recorder ensemble.
The families at Stenwood Elementary represent eighty-two different countries and speak forty-four languages. Fucile founded the school’s Heritage Festival to give the families an opportunity to share their cultural traditions. The festival has become an annual community event covered by the local media, featuring all students in kindergarten through sixth grade performing songs and dances from their various countries and cultures.
Fucile is also responsible for Stenwood’s Recorder Ensemble. In 2005, the Advanced Ensemble performed with the National Philharmonic in its inaugural season at The Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda, Maryland (where the 2011 Penn State President’s Concert was held), and was featured performing group at the Virginia Music Educators Association conference in Norfolk, Virginia.
In addition, Fucile gives back to the teaching community by helping young teachers get off on the right foot. She frequently hosts student teachers and serves as a mentor to new music teachers in Fairfax County.
While at Penn State, Fucile played horn with the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Symphonic Orchestra, Horn Ensemble, and Brass Choir, and with the Altoona, Williamsport, and Hershey symphonies. She graduated with high distinction, serving as the College of Arts and Architecture Student Marshal. She received the Academic All-American Award and Omicron Delta Kappa Award for leadership, and was inducted into Pi Kappa Lambda, the honorary music society. She also holds an M.A. in music education with a concentration in Orff-Schulwerk from George Mason University.
While at University Park to be honored, she visited classes and rehearsals, observed music sessions at an on-campus childcare center, and shared her experiences as a music educator with students. “It was wonderful getting to talk with current students and seeing all of the changes that have taken place on campus,” said Fucile. “I feel very honored to be connected with the Penn State School of Music!”