Today I had the very difficult job of telling my students that I will not be returning to Kearney High School next year. I love my students (I mean, look at that picture to see why), and I have enjoyed being a part of their growth as artists and humans. I feel like I’ve done everything in my power to build the foundation of an outstanding theatre program at KHS. I’m leaving proud of the work we’ve done together. I will miss so many things about Kearney High. My colleagues are truly some of the best I’ve worked with. My students are delightful, passionate, and committed. I have dear friends and community members that have shown me so much support and love throughout my time here. I have no idea where I would be without you.
That all being said, why am I moving on? Well, I have the amazing opportunity to return to my old high school, Lincoln East and teach theatre. I owe so much to my beloved high school theatre teacher, Carol Scott. I am honored that I will get work with the students of my old school to give back all she gave to me during my years as a Spartan. I never knew how amazing Carol was until I became a teacher myself. She, sadly, died when I was a junior in college…long before I could understand all that she did for her students. My first year of teaching, I kept wanting to call her to ask her questions. I feel like I took her for granted when she was here. I certainly hope I’ve made her proud since that time.
Secondly, I get to work with an old friend, Pat Vendetti. A master designer of sets and lights, who also happens to be an old grad school chum. That’s right folks, there is a FULL-TIME TECHNICAL DIRECTOR AT EAST HIGH SCHOOL! Those of you that know me, know how this totally changes my life. Instead of working 60-90 hours a week, I will now have the support to work only 40-60 on average. This gives me back the ability to tend to my health, relationship, and family. The older I get, the more I realize how important work-life-service balance. I think this job at East High School will allow me to do that. I am so grateful that I will get to collaborate with an artist like Pat…and, wait for it, I also have an ASSISTANT! It’s too good to be true, isn’t it?