DLJK8

Teacher of the Year

It is with great pleasure to announce....

Mrs. Nieves Seone

2016-2017 DLJK8 Teacher of the Year 

 

Nieves Del-Carmen Seoane was destined to be a teacher. Born and raised in Miami and translating for her Cuban parents was the norm for her. She always loved English growing up and was always teaching her nonspeaking dolls the language. Her passed time was writing short poems and adding melodies to them. Intrigued by the romantic languages took up a little Italian and French in high school but it was her piano teacher who inspired her to pursue the greatest language of all the “International” language of the world, …MUSIC.

Mrs. Seoane had full music scholarship for Florida State University in 1980 but her parents persuaded her to stay and pursue Music at Miami Dade, UM and eventually graduating in 1984 from Florida International University with a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance with a minor in education. Thanks to the scholarship program at FIU Mrs. Seoane obtained experience with the string orchestra conducting and arranging for students at the local summer camps.  Her first teaching job came via Howard Doolin the Music Supervisor who placed her at Nautilus Junior High now Nautilus Middle School in 1984 and at Miami Beach Senior High to teach an early bird Orchestra class.

The challenge, build a music program! She was asked to teach a 7th grade science class, sound was her favorite chapter, a 65-student drama class in the auditorium, a guitar class with heavy metal fanatics and her one and only favorite class the keyboard lab! Talk about a first-year experience!

Creativity surged through and the drama class soon became Chorus, the guitar class became the string orchestra class. It was at her first Open House in Nautilus where Mrs. Seoane met her husband and married in 1991. She worked there for 2 more years until the birth of her children David and Adina. David is now a teacher at DLJk8 and Adina is currently doing her field experience at a Children’s agency for Social Worker. Upon returning from maternity leave it was at the inner-city schools that Mrs. Seoane began to work with elementary age children. For several years, she worked as the itinerant music teacher travelling between Lillie C. Evans, Liberty City and/or Charles Drew Elementary. There she was asked to build the string program and did so successfully. In 1998, the county did many changes and 6th grade was being removed from the elementary schools and sent to the middle schools. This change led to a surplus position for Mrs. Seoane, taking her to Sweetwater Elementary.

Third time around she began the string program and received the honor of Teacher of the Year for the New Millennium at Sweetwater Elementary. During this time of the New Millennium Mrs. Seoane was raising a family, teaching, a member of the Praise and Worship Team at her church and translating for her Non-English speaking Pastor and teaching Sunday school as well as overseeing a ministry alongside her husband.

In 2011 there is a shift in the county, several music teachers were “surplussed” out of their schools and Mrs. Seoane was one of them. Hesitant to change and uncertain about the future with Joseph a 5-year-old son, Mrs. Seoane made one call and that was to David Lawrence K-8 Center. It was then, she was hired as a band director with the job to get a string orchestra together. “No plucking” Mr. Osborn said referring to “pizzicato” a term associated with the string instruments. In a leap of faith, she accepted the challenge and spent 3 days searching “you tube”, old college syllabi, praying, trying to figure out “How to teach band”?    It was at 3 o’clock on the teacher work day prior to opening of school that Mrs. Seoane walked into the elementary music and chorus position. Starting the string orchestra club after school was how currently there is an orchestra course offered in the upper academy and at ATM High School across the street!

Mrs. Seoane travels through the halls of DLJ teaching and making music from room to room on a cart. It is through Donors Choose, and PTSA grants that several carts have been obtained for the Orff xylophones. 

She has served in several committees including United Way, FIU Jose Marti Scholarship Fund, is part of the board of the South Florida Orff Chapter a music non-profit organization. This school year Mrs. Seoane is partaking in the i3 Mentor program to assist beginning teachers. Entering a new phase in her professional career, it is with honor and joy Mrs. Seoane accepts this nomination for David Lawrence Jr. K-8 Center teacher of the year.