Creating Connections in the Classroom: Kelly Stronach

February 23, 2023
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Second-time nominee for the MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award, presented by CST Foundation, Kelly Stronach is a dedicated music educator who demonstrates versatility, passion, and a strong commitment to providing impactful learning experiences for her students.

Kelly shares MusiCounts’ values: certain barriers need to be overcome for students to have proper access to music education, and she continuously works to make that happen in her community. She emphasizes that the learning process is a leading factor in her teaching philosophy. She believes that the music classroom should be a safe and inclusive space for every student, which is why she aims to make personal connections with each of them so they are always seen, heard, and celebrated in their learning experiences.

Outside of the classroom, Kelly strives to provide her community with the necessary resources to develop music education. As a member of the Upper Grand Elementary Music Teachers Association, she has mentored new teachers to help them gain the support and guidance they need to follow in her footsteps as an influential music educator. She also co-hosted a workshop for the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario on “Teaching Social Justice Through Music”, and will continue to lead more sessions including “Making Music Matter”, which will focus on keeping music relevant and engaging for students in the classroom.

Music is constantly moving forward with technology; Kelly’s adaptability to evolving trends has fostered the growth of the after-school program, Blackball, run by composer & DJ Transstar. This program teaches students from at-risk communities how to compose and produce electronic music. It is clear that Kelly communicates with her students to discover their interests and ensure music is helping meet their desired learning outcomes.

Kelly Stronach of Mitchell Woods Public School in Guelph, Ontario, is one of five exceptional educators nominated for the 2023 MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award, presented by CST Foundation. The award recognizes an exceptional music educator with a $10,000 cash prize, a generous donation to their school through the MusiCounts Band Aid Program, and a JUNO statuette.

The MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award was established in 2005 to recognize and honour an exceptional Canadian music teacher each year. This award is generously presented by CST Foundation. To date, this award has celebrated the accomplishments of 17 music educators across Canada who strive to preserve the livelihood of music education in their school and community.

The MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award is presented by