Blair teacher Kelly Newman recently received the Shakespeare Teacher Award given by the Washington DC area branch of the English-Speaking Union (ESU). Junior Jordan McCraw made the ten finalists for the Shakespeare student competition.
Newman's first application, made a couple years ago, was rejected, but still managed to get some attention. "One of the judges both last year and this year said I remember your application, please apply again because it was very strong," Newman said. "They didn't want to give it to a Montgomery County teacher year after year and they had just given it to a teacher from Montgomery County the year before."
McCraw was one of the performing competitors and "did excellently," said Newman.
The competition is based on an application, essay, and recommendation the teacher sends in to the ESU. As the winner, Newman will get to attend a British University Summer School (BUSS) program. "It's a three week study program in Great Britain with a variety of venues," Newman said. "You can kind of go wherever you want."
The BUSS program offers studies in many places both in England and Scotland; but Newman has yet to decide which destination she will chose.
McCraw won the school and county competition, enabling her to go on to the regional competition where she made it to the finalists. "At the regional competition, there were about forty people and they narrowed it down to ten," McCraw said.
McCraw was able to perform in the competition despite back pain she had the entire night. "I felt completely ridiculous because I was at rehearsal and I had to be lying down backstage," McCraw said. "I managed to get through the competition despite my back."
Although McCraw did not win the final competition, she had no regrets about her participation in the competition. "It was a really great experience even though I didn't win. Winning was really one of the smaller aspects of it because it was such an opportunity to stand on the Shakespeare stage, even for two minutes," McCraw said. She also had the chance to meet several members of the ESU, along with the D.C. Mayor's mother and the New Zealand Ambassador and his wife.
Laura Blythe-Goodman. Laura is a senior this year. In her spare time, she learns how to play the guitar and talks to Emma. More »