Title: Music Teacher
Company: Pascagoula-Gautier School District
Location: Long Beach, MS
Education: BME, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MI, with High Honors (2017)
Career History: Music Teacher, Pre-k-4th Grade, Pascagoula-Gautier School District (2018-Present)
Hannah Mallette, Music Teacher at Pascagoula-Gautier School District, has been recognized as a Marquis Emerging Leader for their contributions and achievements in the field of education.
Growing up in a family of church musicians and singers in Mississippi, Ms. Mallette has been surrounded by songs since the day she was born. Her passion and inspiration for music carried her throughout her youth and while in high school, she developed an interest in performing in the band program. Proving to be a gifted player, she auditioned and was selected among the top 10 students across different schools to join the honor band, for which she learned music over the course of a couple of days and put on concerts across the state, and even in Germany and Austria with the Mississippi Lions Band, and worked with several conductors. It was an experience that exposed her to musicianship on a higher level of artistry. There was one concert she will never forget. She and the band were playing for somebody who was retiring; it was an extremely lyrical piece of music that made everybody immediately emotional. It was the first time she realized she was capable of doing that that to an entire room through her performance. That day changed her and set her on the course of devoting her career to music.
Upon graduating from high school, and being honored with the John Philip Sousa Band Award in 2013, Ms. Mallette earned a Bachelor of Music Education with high honors from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2017. The following year, she launched her career as a music teacher to pre-K to fourth-grade students at Eastlawn Elementary School within the Pascagoula-Gautier School District, where she remains today—teaching 16 classes weekly and also serving as elementary music co-chair. In addition to her main roles within the district, she has found joy in collaborating with the director of the Pascagoula High School Choir to put on a production of “Beauty and the Beast,” serving as the stage manager for the show. For this effort, she was able to bring in some of the elementary school students and others from throughout the district to be featured and make the production as expansive as possible. Looking ahead, they are striving to continue putting on more musicals. In 2021, she was a presenter at Tech Camp for Teachers, hosted by her district, and this past summer, she obtained Orff Schulwerk Certification Level 1 for Music Teachers, a very hands-on methodology of teaching music—delving into the fundamentals of “imitation, exploration, improvisation, and composition”—that she loves. Ms. Mallette has been a member of the University of Southern Mississippi Horn Octet, with whom she performed at the 46th International Horn Symposium in London, England.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, remote learning, and safety protocols in-person, Ms. Mallette was instrumental in organizing a live talent show by having performers socially distanced across the cafeteria and live-streaming the show to all the classrooms, with all the doors open so that students could cheer on everyone performing. As a further effort, she planned a special surprise for all teachers at the school at the end of the show; the live stream switched to a “Thank You” song that every student had been taught. Hearing the echoes of the students singing throughout the building was a career highlight. “Even in a time we were so separated, we all felt together again for a bit,” she said. In recognition of her invaluable impact on the school district, she was named Eastlawn Elementary Teacher of the Year and Pascagoula-Gautier School District Teacher of the Year in 2021. Dedicated to her field, she is a proud member of the National Association for Music Educators, Mississippi Music Educators Association, and Mississippi Orff Chapter #100 of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association.
Reflecting on her career so far, Ms. Mallette says it has been her primary goal to pass on the amazing experiences she had in the school band to young people. For her, the students make everything worth it.