Admit it, you’ve seen them. The arts kids. Walking down that dark hallway at the end of the school. What do they learn in there? Who teaches them?
Debra Clinton, an astounding director, play writer, and now Hanover High’s inspiring theatre art’s teacher, may be recognized in the hallway after long term subbing for the department last year.
“I feel very invested,” Clinton said. “The reason I was interested in the job is because I was very inspired by the students. When I got here, there seemed to be a real desire for a stronger theatre program and I responded to that. As a theatre artist, I’m very passionate about what I do and as an educator, I want to share that with kids so to come to an environment where all that fit together, that seemed like a good place to be,” Clinton continued in response to being asked why she decided to stick with the program after subbing last year.
Clinton is not the only person excited about having a new face in the theatre department. Along with her, many student have expressed how much they are looking forward to this year. Between writing, directing, and teaching, she is more than experienced and ready for the job.
“I have a lot of faith in her because I know that she’s really successful in the theater community in Richmond. So I definitely know that she’s going to produce good things at Hanover theatre company and that she knows what she’s doing. She’s really ready and excited and it feels good,” senior Becka Russo said.
Along with Clinton, another teacher has joined the fine arts staff. Carol Ann Dickerson, the new director of Hanover’s award winning choir, has worked here before as well as a part time director.
“It’s been wonderful. Everybody has been very welcoming and I love the community. It’s nice to be back,” Dickerson said, “I think the art’s are extremely important for the students to be able to express themselves. So many times, sitting in a class doing other activities that wouldn’t be of interest to them, they know that they have to do those activities. But, they come down here because it’s something that they love to do.”
Overall, both the students and teachers are looking forward to an amazing year in the arts department. “Mrs. Clinton is very passionate about what she does, not only in the theatrics, but she cares about all the students and has our best interests in her mind. I’m excited to work with her in class and in Hanover Theatre Company’s productions this year,” freshman Abby Todd said.
Other students have expressed how they appreciate not only the way their new teachers conduct the classroom, but also in the way that they accept all their students and have embraced the program and the students involved.
“She’s a really nice teacher and she welcomes everyone with open arms. She’s a very understanding person. And I’m excited to sing and perform in the winter concert,” freshman Savana Watts said, “I’m looking forward to all the songs we will be singing this year.”
Between new teachers and new students, the arts department is sure to be a success this year. The performing Hawks will continue on their tradition of giving their all and leaving audiences in awe. This year, the dark hallway at the end of the school is definitely in the spotlight.