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October 21, 2013

Willsboro schools chief praised for theater support

WILLSBORO — Though he professes a background in athletics, Willsboro Central School Superintendent Stephen Broadwell energetically endorses the arts. 

“It’s great training for life, as it teaches many valuable skills — such as dedication, performing in front of an audience, teamwork and the ability to speak and be understood.”

Broadwell has been named the New York State Theatre Education Association Administrator of the Year for 2013.

“It was an honor to represent Willsboro on behalf of all of the administrators that support the arts,” he said, recently returned from accepting the award at the annual Theatre Education Association  conference in New York City 

“Awards like this are based on the great teachers at the schools.”

‘COLLABORATION’

Broadwell credits Willsboro Central theater teacher Derrick Hopkins for boosting his dedication to promoting theater arts. 

“It’s incredible to watch our students when they first start out and what they are like when Derrick takes them to the final product.” 

The superintendent also has high praise for the music program under Jennifer Moore and the visual-arts program with teacher Elizabeth Belois. 

“It’s a collaboration of our entire program, music, art and theater. We have unbelievable staff in all of these departments,” the superintendent said.

“The community is also unbelievable due to the numerous volunteers that support us in every facet. Then they get to enjoy the performances, and we have great attendance.”

It’s not every day that a school administrator can be counted on to support requests for funding when it comes to theater arts, Hopkins said.

FEELING LUCKY

“Theater directors in other schools tell me how lucky we are, as their administrators don’t feel theater is that important in their districts,” Hopkins said.

“I have the opportunity to say, ‘Yes,’” Broadwell countered.

Though the superintendent has done much to support the funding of the arts programs, Hopkins added, “we always have to raise money, as tickets and concessions don’t cover all of it.”

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