Marissa has more than 25 years of experience in teaching in the studies of both Drama and English. In her shared role as Director of Drama she provides specialist leadership and guidance to her colleagues in the Drama department. Marissa is passionate about the value of an Arts education and works to encourage and inspire relationships between teachers and students that lead to a love of learning. Marissa holds a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education majoring in Drama, with a minor in English from Edith Cowan University which allowed her to develop her pedagogical ideologies and philosophies. Marissa has taught a diverse range of students across many schools in Western Australia and in Singapore as well as completing her teaching studies at the University of Missouri in the United States.
Marissa believes that taking risks and changing the look of our learning environment is important to encourage in students to help develop creative thinking and resilience, so whilst studying she also involved herself in the community by having a regular announcing shift on the local radio station in Columbia Missouri and her learning took place both in the lecture theatres as well as in the workplace whilst finishing her degree.
Marissa’s first teaching position was with Act One Drama Academy in Singapore where she taught age groups from 3– 18 years in Drama specific courses and extended that involvement to a variety of schools teaching English Enrichment around the country utilising her drama skills to help with English as a second language for Singaporean students.
On her return to Perth, she joined other drama teachers and professional actors to create Shining Wit Theatre Company. The opportunities of this company were diverse in that they had experiences as professional actors, directors and writers and also developed drama camps for teenagers, performed festival productions and corporate workshops to help improve work environments.
The variation of employment was exciting but working with teenagers kept being the most satisfying part of teaching for Marissa, their creative, enthusiastic, and often challenging conversations and ideas drew her into their world, and she realised this was her place.
Marissa has since been able to share her passion and expertise of Drama teaching with other schools through moderating school drama programs and marking the ATAR practical and written exams with SCSA, being a teacher development support coordinator for the southwest and a member of the Arts Committee for the Department of Culture and the Arts to help with Arts in Education funding projects. Marissa enjoys working alongside Elissa Wallis – Director of Drama to inspire students and teachers to further their knowledge and craft, while also guiding students to find a passion for learning and the Arts.