Announcing Stephen Schwartz Musical Theater Teachers of the Year 2021

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Roshunda Jones of GW Carver Magnet High School in Houston, Texas, and Holly Stanfield of Bradford High School in Kenosha, Wisconsin, are the two 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 middle school musical theater teachers and includes a cash prize of $5,000. The award is made possible by a grant funded by the Annenberg Foundation in honor of Stephen Schwartz.

The award was presented June 24 during the Virtual Thespian International Festival by Schwartz, Lynn Ahrens and Andrew Lippa.

Jones’ 16-year career as an acting teacher has included 85 Tommy Tune Award nominations and 11 wins.

Musical theater has a unique way of bringing together people from different backgrounds and experiences to create theater magic,” 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 her more than 30 years as a theater educator, has twice been a finalist for the Tony Award for Excellence in Theater Education.

“The support and commitment I found at EdTA meant a lot to me,” Stanfield shared as he accepted the honor. “The experiences our students have had at the festival, in our local troupe, and in our state have changed them in ways they don’t quite understand yet. What we’re doing is important to our students and our communities. If the pandemic… learned something is the value of the community we create with our craft. It is a privilege to be part of this dynamic and generous EdTA community.”

Created last year, the Bad, Pippin appleand divine spell composer created the honor to recognize the ways in which theater education impacts lives. “Drama teachers not only help bring drama, but also bring empathy and the ability to think, to work together in groups, and to understand others,” Schwartz explained. “These are things so desperately needed in our country right now that go far, far beyond theater and musical theatre.”

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