The halls are alive with music at Hall's Cross Roads Elementary School in Aberdeen, Maryland, thanks to vocal music teacher and department chair Christian Slattery. Slattery meshes the music curriculum with other subjects, whether by creating rap songs to teach multiplication tables or changing the lyrics of a familiar pop song to strengthen understanding of a history unit. Through music, this young educator reaches all students from kindergarten through the fifth grade, including those who may be deaf, autistic or simply struggling with reading or math. Slattery's detailed daily learning plans range from musical vocabulary to composition and performance, and he modifies his lesson plans each year based on qualitative assessment data to reflect the diverse learning styles of his students. Under his guidance, students assume leadership for their own musical development through ensembles and improvisation techniques. His students' performances are typically standing room only, and his fourth- and fifth-grade chorus is invited each year to perform at a large celebration at the Maryland House, a welcome center in Aberdeen. Slattery contributes to Harford County's music curriculum development as well as professional development for new teachers. At this school where over 60 percent of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, he helped to implement a "Lights On After School" program to keep children productive and safe after school until working parents return home.
2012 Notre Dame of Maryland University, M.A. Leadership in Teaching
2002 West Chester University of Pennsylvania, B.S.
2011 Harford County Teacher of the Year