FOR two local teachers, this time it’s to be.
Gunnedah High School’s Jenny Sullivan and Peel High School’s Keya Stevenson have been granted a scholarship to the prestigious theatre company, Bell Shakespeare.
The fully funded scholarship comes with specialist training in teaching Shakespeare and breaking the ice with students.
Ms Sullivan just wrapped up directing the Tamworth Dramatic Society’s production of Romeo and Juliet.
“I’m hoping to get more skills to find practical and exciting ways to work with text so they aren’t so scared,” she said.
I hope I build skills to remove that angst and concern with something as prestigious, old and revered as Shakespeare.- Jenny Sullivan
“It doesn’t matter if it’s Shakespeare or a novel, kids out here have low literacy, low socio-economic status and a backlog of parents who maybe didn’t appreciate school and don’t pass on its importance.
“I hope I build skills to remove that angst and concern with something as prestigious, old and revered as Shakespeare.”
Just 30 regional teachers were chosen for the Bell Shakespeare project.
The year long membership with the company will provide ongoing support from Bell Shakespeare artists and staff as well as access to in-school and theatre programs to continue their learning.
The teachers were chosen from as far afield as Nhulunbuy in the Northern Territory, Bunbury in Western Australia, Herberton in Queensland and Tamworth’s own Peel High School.
A former student herself, English teacher Keya Stevenson is looking forward to the opportunities the scholarship will provide her students.
With a new syllabus and previously untaught Shakespeare plays, it was important to Ms Stevenson to have guidance as a younger staff member she said.
“I think most people struggle with Shakespeare when they first come into contact with it,” she said.
“The network is provides is what I’m looking forward to, it’s experts in that field which for a country school is so valuable.”
The Bell Shakespeare program begins in 2019.
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