Blog: Master Teacher Spotlight on Rachael Buboltz

Rachael Buboltz grew up in a very musical household. Siblings, parents, and even grandparents were all involved in some way, shape, or form. With pianos and guitars at her fingertips, she was always playing with instruments rather than with toys. Rachael and her three older sisters sang in church growing up; and although her sisters did not choose to study music, Rachael knew that it was her calling.

She attended Missouri State University – studying music – and moved to Philadelphia in 2011, knowing that she wanted to teach in the city.

Music plays a large part of Rachael’s life both in and outside of the classroom. She and her husband spend their free time watching live music and attending performances throughout the city. Rachael plays the piano, guitar, and as of recently, the ukulele.

Prior to joining Mastery, Rachael had a strong vision for education and for what a successful music program would look like. “I believe every child should have music – they deserve to be creative in a certain way,” she said. Rachael was attracted to the space for innovation within the music department at Mastery Charter Thomas Elementary, which, she says, has allowed her the freedom to become the teacher she wants to be.

The Thomas Tones were one of Rachael’s first big dreams. “I wanted a competitive choir, I wanted to win awards,” she explained. In her first year as the Music Teacher at Thomas, over 120 students got involved and each grade level did a performance for parents. By the time they got to the last concert parents were packed into the auditorium, and they soon started a second choir – Thomas Singers – to feed the desire.

There are now four musical extracurricular ensembles at Mastery Charter Thomas Elementary: Thomas Tones, Thomas Singers, Thomas Tunes, and most recently a drum line! Performances are held at 2300 Arena and the Thomas Tones perform at the annual Christmas Tree Lighting with the Mayor.

This is Rachael’s 5th year at Thomas Elementary. “I’m here. I’m sticking here. This is my school.”