It’s no secret that small towns, with the exception of scenery, solitude, and various outdoor recreational activities, lack many of the opportunities larger cities provide.
One exception would be the theatrical education provided to Chewelah’s youth by Janet McLaughlin.
I received a degree in theatre education. I teach high school theatre in Carson City, Nevada. I draw on my formal university education often, but what has proven more helpful is the education I received years ago from Janet.
In my first year of studies it was evident that the education I received in Stagetime and at JHS matched and often exceeded those of my peers who attended schools in larger cities.
What’s more, Janet taught hard work, professionalism, punctuality, communication, creativity, collaboration, dedication, confidence, and humility. I am one of the few of her students who chose to pursue a career in theatre arts, but when I think of my peers, I know they learned the same skills that I did, and that these skills have served them well in their respective paths.
Having watched, shadowed, observed, critiqued, and been a theatre teacher myself, believe me when I say Janet is an exceptional educator and theatre practitioner. She is the best I have come across. Chewelah is tremendously lucky to have her in the community and in the schools. As the economy struggles and programs are cut, may theatre remain a priority.
The education Janet McLaughlin provides to our youth extends far beyond the stage.