Rae Burton has retired from teaching and was celebrated for her work at Lithgow High School on Thursday, November 29.
Rae Burton has worked tirelessly at Lithgow High School as a classroom music teacher who provided extra-curricular activities such as the school choir and school musical.
She was appointed at LHS permanently in 1982 (casual from 1981) and built an immensely strong musical culture in the school ever since.
As a music teacher she supported students seeking innovative approaches to composition, performance from classical music to metal to jazz and took pride in the performance nights by senior students who were experimenting with different styles and genres.
Apart from music she also taught English, History and Visual Arts. She also relieved as a Head Teacher in Visual Arts as required. She did not seek promotion instead focused her energies on students in class.
She was a member of the school’s attendance team which tracks student attendance and intervenes as necessary to support student’s at risk.
Lithgow High School’s “legend” of the music department, Mrs Burton has been instilling the love of music to students for over half a century in the Education Department and for more than thirty years at the school.
She has been a mentor to multitudes and has worked tirelessly enriching students’ and teachers’ lives with composition and songs.
The Lithgow community have all been fortunate to share in this lifetime of music, learning, encouragement, support and enjoyment.
Many students have been introduced to music and have gone on to make their career out of music and theatre because of this talented and passionate music teacher.
Mrs Burton was not only a music teacher of students from years seven to 12, she was the school’s Musical Director and Producer of the annual school musical production.
Mrs Burton dedicated copious amounts of her own time after school and on weekends practising with the cast and crew to bring the productions to the highest standard.
Every year students were invited to audition for the large scale productions and no one was ever turned away. Mrs Burton always found a role for them in the show or a part in helping the stage crew, lighting or front of house organisation.
Students were made to feel valued, respected and appreciated as part of a school team. Mrs Burton is fiercely proud of her students and of Lithgow High School and its community.
Mrs Burton would teach music from year seven to year 12, with a consistent track record of achievements as a teacher.
She continually enjoyed superb result with her senior students through their Higher School Certificate and would always go above and beyond to help mentor and motivate the students striving for the highest bands in the HSC.
She was a highly skilled teacher who cared for each and every one of her pupils; even the more challenging students are all well behaved and engaged in her lessons and they showed her the utmost respect in return.
Mrs Burton maintained a challenging and future focused learning environment for all and was the year eight attendance team co-ordinator.
She led the Western Gateway Educational Community choir, organising and running specialised programs within nine schools in the Greater Lithgow area.
Mrs Burton's contributions do not stop at school, she helped form the Lithgow Musical Society, where she is also the director and producer.
Mrs Burton has encouraged and motivated many youth at school and in the community to become involved in these major productions building on their cultural endeavours, challenging them to develop as valuable citizens of the wider community.
This actually contributes to learning engagement and confident performance skills within and beyond the school.
A spokesperson for Lithgow High School said they believe the school has been blessed to be associated with this amazing and enriching teacher, Mrs Rae Burton.
“She has encouraged, taught, mentored and inspired perhaps more than half of our community and has been critical to the success of Lithgow High School and local community performing arts,” they said.
Mrs Burton is highly regarded by parents’, colleagues and the wider Lithgow community for her contributions and commitment as a teacher, leader, mentor and friend.
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