CINCINNATI – Corey Mitchell, head of the musical theater department of Northwest School of the Arts, received the inaugural Stephen Schwartz Musical Theatre Teacher of the Year Award from The ASCAP Foundation and the Educational Theatre Association.
The award recognizes the highest level of achievement for a musical theater teacher and comes with a $5,000 prize.
“It’s a tremendous honor to accept this on the behalf of so many teachers out there, because this is a crazy year, but somehow all of my theater teacher friends are persevering through it and figuring out a way to make this happen even more,” said Mitchell in accepting the award.
Mitchell, a teacher for 25 years, is the recipient of multiple awards, including the first Excellence in Theatre Education Tony Award in 2015.
In nominating Mitchell for the award, Mean Girls star Renee Rapp recalled her former teacher’s drive for excellence.
“He challenged us all to bring our best, never settle, and strive to keep getting better,” Rapp said. “He helped us understand not only the theater, but also the importance of our relationships in general, and he explained both were important skills regardless of the career path we chose.”
“One mark of a truly brilliant and dedicated teacher is that they know their students’ potential before the students know themselves. This was certainly my experience,” said playwright and composer James Kennedy, another former student. “He invests in his students’ artistic sustainability … and they are fierce advocates for theater in every community they work in.”
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