Humans of Oakleigh Grammar – Des Maramis

Des Maramis 2017

Desi Maramis left Oakleigh Grammar at the end of 2017 after 20 amazing years teaching in our music department. As Head of Performing Arts in the Junior School, she conducted our Junior School choir at many internal and external events, produced plays and musicals, and even wrote songs for our students to perform. Her talent, hard work and general kind, caring and passionate nature will be sorely missed by all our community, and we wish her well in her next chapter.

 

How did you find yourself at Oakleigh Grammar?

In 1995 I did my teaching rounds at Oakleigh Grammar. Back then our School was called ‘Oakleigh Greek Orthodox College ‘Sts. Anargiri’. I taught a Prep class with Ms Evie Cassimatis who was my mentor.

 

Tell me about your role here.

I taught at O.G. for 21 years. I was a generalist classroom teacher for the first 10 years, and for the remaining 11 years I taught Performing Arts in the Junior School from ELC to Year 5.

 

What is your favourite memory from your time here?

My favourite memory was being selected for the first trip to Yuppi Camp in Greece with a group of Year 4, 5 and 6 students and three other teachers.

 

Who has influenced you the most at Oakleigh Grammar and why?

The Head of our Junior School, Mrs Lauren Cummins. She always encouraged and supported me with my ideas for the musicals and productions I worked on.

 

What is your favourite thing about teaching music and performing arts?

I always enjoy watching the children come out of their shell and watching their self-esteem grow over time.

 

Of all the musicals and plays you have written and directed in your time here, can you name a favourite?

My favourite musical was ‘Blast Into the Past’. It was fun watching the script I worked on last year come to life on stage. It was the first time our Junior School students performed in an auditorium. The 1980s theme with Michael J. Fox and Doc Brown time-travelling brought back some fun memories from the movie ‘Back To The Future’.

 

What has been your favourite thing about your role at Oakleigh Grammar?

My favourite thing about my role at O.G. was writing songs and plays for our Leader In Me program. I am so proud to be part of a school that has achieved Lighthouse Status.

 

Of all you accomplishments at Oakleigh Grammar, what would you say you are most proud of?

In 2005 I organised for a Greek popstar, Michalis Hatzigiannis, who was touring in Melbourne at the time, to visit our School. He sang one of his hit songs in Greek and English with my Year 3 students in the Sports Complex, with Channel 31 and 3XY radio present. I enjoyed being the MC on the day.

 

Would you change anything about your time at Oakleigh Grammar? Why/why not?

If I had to do it all again, I wouldn’t change a single thing.

 

What is one piece of advice you have for anyone following your footsteps in performing arts, music and teaching?

Be passionate and love what you do. It’s hard work but it’s rewarding. Watching the children develop into performers is amazing.

 

What do you do when you aren’t working?

I listen to music and love reading books and magazines about interior design. I also enjoy drawing and shopping! I regularly visit my favourite café ‘Merchants Guild’ for soy chais.

 

If you could close your eyes and appear anywhere in the world where would you be?

I would love to be on the Greek island Lefkada. The beaches there are beautiful and I would love to visit my family and friends there.

 

What’s your go-to karaoke song?

My go-to karaoke song is ‘I’m Still Standing’ by Elton John. It’s about resilience and loving life whatever it brings.

 

What is the best advice someone has ever given you?

My parents have always told me to always do my best in life, whatever I do.

 

What’s next for you, after Oakleigh Grammar?

Oakleigh Grammar will always be a part of me. For the time being I am spending quality time with my family and doing more traveling around the world.

Desmaramis 1996

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