Mary Govertsen came to teaching after ten years spent as a full-time professional opera, concert, and choral singer. During her time as a resident artist with Opera for the Young and as an assistant director for the Glencoe Junior High Project, she realized that teaching classroom music was where her real passion lay and, after she obtained her certification, started on her career as a general classroom music teacher.
From 2011 until 2017, Mary was a K-5 music and drama teacher in Des Plaines, Illinois (CCSD 62). She taught at six of the eight elementary schools in D62, and had the privilege of working with a wide array of wonderful students and teachers. She helped to revise the district drama and music curricula, which involved completely rebuilding the district’s approach to drama, and adding units on vocal music, opera/musical theater, music theory and composition to music instruction. These changes were all adopted district-wide. In the classroom, she coordinated and produced multiple student performances and shows with teachers throughout the district; worked with classroom teachers to support elements of their curriculum through music; and taught chorus, ukulele, recorder, and various tech-based compositional concepts, while traveling between two to four schools a year. During the 2016-2017 school year, Mary was involved in the district's initiative to implement socio-emotional strategies in the classroom, and co-taught several teacher development sessions on using music and drama games and activities to promote socio-emotional learning.
Mary holds an MM in Voice and Opera and a BM in Vocal Performance, both from Northwestern University, and was certified in K-12 Music at Northeastern Illinois University. She lives just outside of Chicago with her husband, three-year-old son, and two naughty kitties. In her spare time, she sings with the Chicago Symphony Chorus and local opera companies, reads, and does aerial hoop and silks.
Click here for Mrs. Govertsen's philosophy of education!
Click here for Mrs. Govertsen's professional performance website (under construction)!