Roshunda Jones of GW Carver Magnet High School in Houston, Texas, and Holly Stanfield of Bradford High School in Kenosha, Wisconsin, are two-time recipients of the 2021 Stephen Schwartz Musical Theater Teacher of the Year Award, presented by the ASCAP Foundation and the Educational Association theatrical.
Now in its second year, the award honors outstanding high school and college musical theater teachers and includes a $ 5,000 cash prize. The award is made possible through a grant funded by the Annenberg Foundation in honor of Stephen Schwartz.
The award was presented on June 24 at the Virtual International Thespian Festival by Schwartz, Lynn Ahrens and Andrew Lippa.
Jones’ 16-year career as a drama teacher has included 85 Tommy Tune Award nominations and 11 wins.
âMusical theater has a unique way of bringing together people from different backgrounds and experiences to create the magic of theater,â Jones said. “I am an advocate for arts education everywhere. No matter how much funding or support you have, magic can be created with determination and creativity.”
Stanfield, with over 30 years as a theater educator, has been a two-time finalist for the Tony Award for Excellence in Theater Education.
âThe support and commitment I found in EdTA meant a lot to me,â shared Stanfield as he accepted the honor. âThe experiences our students had at the festival, in our home troupe and in our state have changed them in ways they don’t yet fully understand. What we do is important to our students and our communities. has learned something, it is the value of the community that we create with our profession. It is a privilege to be part of this dynamic and generous EdTA community. “
Created last year, the Bad, Reinette apple, and Divine spell composer created the honor of recognizing the impact of theatrical education on life. âDrama teachers help not only bring drama, but also bring empathy and the ability to think, work together in groups, and understand others,â Schwartz explained. “These are things our country desperately needs right now that are going well beyond theater and musical theater.”