Community Pride: Music teacher hits all the right notes

Debbie Feehan with pupils

Debbie Feehan with pupils

First published in News
Last updated

A “PHENOMENAL” teacher from York has been nominated for the Community Pride Awards.

Debbie Feehan, 51, is a music teacher and the deputy head at St Aelreds Primary School in Tang Hall. She was nominated for Teacher of the Year by mum Rebecca Shaw, whose sons Thomas and Joseph have both benefited from “an amazing, motivating, devoted teacher”.

Rebecca said she nominated Debbie because she “really goes the extra mile” to organise and run extracurricular activities.

One of her biggest contributions was to set up the school choir, which practices weekly after school. Its members often get invited to take part in concerts at the University of York, where Debbie has built a relationship with students in the Music Education Group, and they in turn now visit the school to run workshops.

The choir have even sung at Sheffield Arena and York Barbican, and at Christmas Debbie took them carolling in supermarkets to raise money for new instruments.

She also runs free ukulele and samba drum lessons, as well as the school’s recorder group, and she recently arranged an evening song and dance performance for the children’s parents.

Debbie said she was overwhelmed and speechless to have been nominated for the award, which is sponsored by power company Drax and goes to a teacher who inspires her pupils through her enthusiasm and commitment to the job.

On top of her musical work at the school, Debbie has set up links with Woolnough House, a care home nearby. Pupils visit the home every Thursday afternoon to sing and play music with the residents, something both groups look forward to.

Debbie said: “The children love it. They tell me it helps them to bridge the age gap.”

Outside of education Debbie runs the music group at St Aelred’s Church, which includes several of her past pupils. “It’s great that they want to stay involved,” said Debbie.

Nominating Debbie, Rebecca said: “It’s absolutely amazing how much she does. She truly is an inspirational teacher and woman. I wish she had been my teacher.”

The Community Pride awards are run by The Press with City of York Council, and sponsored by Benenden Health.

To make a nomination write to Paula Homer, PA to the editor, The Press, 76-86 Walmgate, York YO1 9YN before Friday, July 18, with details including a supporting statement of no more than two sides of A4 with each nomination. You may also include a picture, which unfortunately we will be unable to return.

Nominations can be made online by logging on to thepress.co.uk/pride.

Comments (1)

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6:12pm Sat 14 Jun 14

rachelleon says...

Mrs Feehan is truly a capable and inspiring teacher. I was amazed by every of her choir's performance. My two children have improved so much in music and motivation because of her. I don't know how she manages to organize so many little children(from 5 years' old) to perform so professionally in such a short time.
Mrs Feehan is truly a capable and inspiring teacher. I was amazed by every of her choir's performance. My two children have improved so much in music and motivation because of her. I don't know how she manages to organize so many little children(from 5 years' old) to perform so professionally in such a short time. rachelleon
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