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Hoke County Schools

Hoke County Schools

Hear from Marian Elliott about the love of singing at Hoke County Schools.

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Meet Marian Elliott

Teacher Ambassador

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I moved to Hoke County fresh out of college with a degree and big ideas and found community, home, and a calling here. Hoke County is rural, surrounded by larger, wealthier counties. I can be creative, innovative, and show leadership here. Not all counties would give me the freedom to make my ideas happen. More than anything else, I feel like I am making a difference here. Children in small communities still deserve the best education possible. I take pride in being the best I can for the students in my care.

Marian Elliott


  • K-5th Grade General Music Teacher


  • University of North Carolina at Greensboro


  • Don Steed Elementary School Teacher of the Year – 2019
  • Hoke County Schools Teacher of the Year - 2019
  • National Board Certification (Early Childhood Music) – 2010
  • Hoke County Elementary Music “Lead Teacher” – 2015-present
  • School Improvement Team Member (2007-2015, 2020-present) and Chair (2011-2014)
  • Committee Leadership: Grade Level Chair (2007-present); Awards (2009-2019); STEAM (2015-2016)
  • Hoke County Fall Festival, Cultural Arts Chairperson (Organized county art show, activities, and writing contest) – 2016-2018
  • Started “Hall Monitor” Program for 5th Grade student leaders – 2012-present
  • Started a Winter Toy and Pajama Drive for area students in need – 2008-present
  • Directed 33+ Musicals, Plays and Concerts - 2004-present
  • Started, Direct, Organize Yearly School Talent Show – 2014-present
  • Organized and Implemented School-wide Mobile Planetarium Visit - 2019
  • Grant Writing: (valued at approximately $39,680)
  • NC Community Foundation Grant Recipient (Mary Archie McNeil Endowment) – 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019
  • Bright Ideas Grant Recipient (Lumbee River Electric Co-Op) – 2005, 2006, 2013, 2016, 2019
  • Lowes Toolbox Grant Recipient – 2016 (Tree-Planting Initiative) Hoke Partners in Education Grant Recipient – 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2018
  • Recipient of 18 Donors Choose Grants

Why I Teach

As long as I can remember, I have always loved to sing. My family even had a rule just for me – no singing at the table. I was in choirs, sang solos, played the piano (not beautifully, but I played) throughout my childhood, and was just generally a happy, fun, musical, creative kid!/ As an adult, I still sing at the table… and everywhere else! I still love music, but my biggest love of music now is finding fun, creative ways of explaining concepts and creating music. I think I excel at breaking down musical concepts for little people in accessible ways. I LOVE coming up with different ways of composing, working collaboratively to make music, sharing other cultures or musical styles, and using technology to create sound. I am a total music-teacher nerd, because even after 17 years of teaching, I still have the most fun coming up with new activities, making materials, and watching those ideas come to life with my students. I love when students finally get it, and when the sounds start to sound less like NOISE, and more like MUSIC! /Notice, I didn’t mention performances. I feel that music (at least for younger students) should not be about the performance, but the experience. Sure, I still direct musicals and concerts, but that is not as important to me as the process. Students still have to learn music theory, but what they DO with that theory is far more important than the notes they write down. Music is participatory, or it should be.

That’s what gets me out of bed each morning. The chance to be creative, to do what I love to do, and to, hopefully, inspire my students to be life-long music makers, or at least appreciators. Every time a former student sees me and tells me about the instrument they are learning, or the concert they just attended, that little girl inside of me starts singing…again!

Hoke County Schools by the numbers

  • 600

    Dedicated Teachers

  • 9,800

    Engaged Learners

  • $35,000

    New Teacher Starting Salary

About Hoke County Schools

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