Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! The clubs at Charter Arts’ team up every year to help celebrate our teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week. This year, Newspaper Club will be posting spotlights on every department. Our teachers work so hard and we want their commitment to be acknowledged this week, and every week! To start off Teacher Appreciation Week, today we will be showcasing the Theatre, English, and Guidance departments.
Mrs. Wagner is the head of the Theatre Department, working with the rest of the theatre faculty: Mrs. Bickert, Mr. Morris, Mrs. Weller, Mr. Wrenn-Meleck, and Mr. Donohue. Mrs. Wagner and Mrs. Bickert teach primarily acting classes, Mrs. Weller teaches Voice and Movement classes, and Mr. Morris teaches Theatre History, Directing, and Playwriting. In addition to teaching classes, all of these theatre teachers direct shows throughout the school year! They devote a lot of time outside of school to the four mainstage productions. They also get students involved outside of school, such the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Competition, opportunities with Touchstone Theatre, and a trip to London with Mr. Morris offered every other summer. Mr. Wrenn-Meleck is the Director of Production at Charter Arts, meaning he designs all of the shows, as well as preps the stage for any dance or music concerts. His assistant is Mr. Donohue, and the two keep very busy from show to show throughout the school year. Outside of Charter Arts, all of the teachers have experience in their art form and stay active in the theatre and film community. For example, Mrs. Wagner stars in the new film, Getting Grace! The Theatre Department collaborates with other departments very frequently and are always a delight to work with.
“All of the theatre teachers dedicated enormous amounts of time to their students. Their care and commitment is what makes the department what it is. From our productions to in-class assignments, we are taught that effort amounts to positive results. Each of the teachers adds a different perspective to the craft, allowing us to have a more well-rounded view of theatre as a whole. I am grateful to have worked with all of them, and I will take what I have learned as I further my academic career. They have allowed me to grow as an artist, preparing me for the many years ahead. Again, I am so grateful for the lessons I have learned in this department.”
-Mia Zappacosta (Senior Theatre Major)
The English Department is filled with wonderful teachers who are very involved at Charter Arts. Mrs. Fowler is the Department Chair and though she has been on maternity leave much of this school year, she still has been very supportive of her students through attending performances and continuing her work with The Performer. Mrs. Fowler’s long-term substitute is Mr. Mensher, who has taken over teaching her classes and being Newspaper Club’s adviser. Other English faculty include Mrs. Bruck, Mr. Madden-Cox, Mrs. Kelly, Mrs. Odell, and Mrs. Knarr. Mrs. Kelly and Mr. Madden-Cox teach several classes, including the two AP English classes offered at Charter Arts. Mrs. Bruck, Mrs. Odell, and Mrs. Knarr teach various grades and levels of English, in addition to electives in some cases. Mrs. Odell is this year’s Yearbook teacher and Mr. Mensher has been teaching Creative Writing elective as Mrs. Fowler typically does. The English Department as a whole works closely with their students, in addition to supporting them in their art forms. Many of them have experience in the arts somehow, such as Mr. Madden-Cox who used to do theatre in high school and even participates in the Poetry Slams here at Charter Arts!
“I’ve had a different English teacher every year and each one brings a new perspective on what they teach and how they teach it. I like all of their creative approaches to teaching English. Also, thank you all for not failing me for four years.”
-Bridget Broskey (Senior Theatre Major)
Charter Arts has three wonderful guidance counselors! Mrs. Covelle, Mrs. McPeek, and Mrs. Parra. Mrs. Covelle is the Director of Guidance, as well as the counselor for all students with the last names A-C. That leaves Mrs. McPeek with students who have the last names D-Mc and Mrs. Parra with students who have the last names Me-Z. Also apart of the Guidance Department is Ms. Squerrini who is Charter Arts’ Registrar. She works very hard on the admissions process of Charter Arts, in which she primarily runs audition days. The guidance counselors meet with all of their students at least once a year. They work to acclimate freshman to high school, prepare sophomores for PSATs, lead juniors into the college process, and help seniors as they apply and commit to college. The counselors also work with students to schedule their classes, administer AP testing, and are always available for students to talk to and seek support from. No doubt, the Charter Arts Guidance Department stays very busy throughout the school year and cares immensely about the student body.
“Guidance has always been really great in my experiences. I didn’t realize how much they do until I was a senior and I saw how much work it is for the counselors to deal with us all requesting transcripts, asking for recommendations, and all of that at the same time. Even though only one counselor is assigned to me, all three of them know who I am and have helped me in some capacity throughout high school.”
A special thanks to all of the teachers in these departments for the first day of Teacher Appreciation Week! Be sure to check back on The Performer Blog tomorrow and the rest of this week.
Article written by Kylie Miller.