BON VOYAGE: Blue Maskers coach boards a train heading to New York where she will gain experience on how to instruct Shakespearian Theatre. Photo by: Jan Penton Miller
BON VOYAGE: Blue Maskers coach boards a train heading to New York where she will gain experience on how to instruct Shakespearian Theatre.
Photo by: Jan Miller Penton

Archived Story

Schmidt selected to study in New York at Juilliard

Published 8:56am Wednesday, July 16, 2014

By Jan Miller Penton

Item Correspondent

Pearl River Central drama teacher and Blue Maskers coach, Ginger Schmidt, packed her bags for a trip to the city that never sleeps, New York City.

Schmidt was selected from a large pool of educators around the country to study at Juilliard located in the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts this summer. Juilliard was established in 1905, with the mission of having the highest caliber of artistic education available and attracts students worldwide. She will be attending a workshop designed to give drama teachers valuable information and expertise in teaching Shakespearian theatre.

Schmidt began her education career at Pearl River Central just a year ago, and came into an already very successful program.  Debra Craig created and coached the Blue Masker Drama Troupe for twenty years and left a strong foundation on which to build.

Schmidt hit the floor running and has not slowed down.  She took the Blue Maskers through the ranks of competition topping out with some of the highest awards in the state of Mississippi.

She is already dreaming of implementing new techniques upon her return. When asked about the honor and what it means, Schmidt answered, “I’m excited.  Of course it is an honor to have been chosen to attend the workshop.  Many people were vying for the opportunity to go, and I’m humbled to have been chosen.

I lived in New York for a year and a half and absolutely love the city! Some people don’t enjoy the crowds, but I love New York. Everyone should try to go at least once. It will be good to experience the sights and sounds of New York again, but honestly I am just so pumped about what I can learn to bring back to my students. I want to make Shakespeare come alive for them.”

The arts and art education are an important aspect in public schools by providing variety. Many students want to participate in extra curricular activities, and studies show that participation in those groups increases the likelihood of students’ successful completion of high school.  The opportunity for students to develop their talents and creatively express themselves promotes self-esteem.

Learning to work together with others to reach a common goal, gaining problem solving skills, and understanding the value of excellence and hard work are only a few of the important lessons that students glean from theatre. Young people need these skills to successfully maneuver their way through college, the work force, and their daily lives.

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