Few things in my school career affected me so deeply I still remember the lessons. There was, however one specific program that literally changed my life. It was Madelaine Nyffeler's theatre program at Mont Harmon Jr. High School.
The language lessons, the science lectures, the mathematics formulas have long since been forgotten, unused and filed away leaving only vague memories which have done little to enhance my future or bring further opportunities into my life.
I was a member of Mrs. Nyffeler's first theatre class at Mont Harmon. The lessons I learned from that class have followed me, giving me confidence, strength, articulation, and poise. Without those lessons, I would not have the self-confidence that has been so crucial in my life.
Today I have accomplished more than I ever expected, because I had someone in my life who always believed in me, always told me not to settle for second best, and never to be content on standing in the background. That person was my theatre coach-Madelaine Nyffeler. The theatre lessons she taught are indispensable to children learning life lessons.
My story is a success because of Madelaine Nyffeler. I currently hold a masters degree in forensic computer investigations from the University of New Haven, which required great sacrifices and confidence that I gained from Madelaine Nyffeler. I have worked as a volunteer for Castle Valley Community Theatre for 11 years serving as a board member for several of those years. I have also worked professionally in the theatre at Busch Gardens, Williamsburg as a stage manager. My experiences have taken me all over the United States.
When she informed me of the intention of the Carbon County School District to end the threatre program at Mont Harmon, I was disconcerted by the decision to say the least. I am afraid the students of Carbon County who do not have the threatre program will suffer in their futures for the lack of it.
Who will teach them articulation? Who will show them how to take the stage? Who will coach them in speech and diction? Who will give them self-confidence through performance? Who will teach them they are important? Who will lead them by example? Who will introduce them to the great playwrights? Who will show them the world through an artist's eyes? Who will make them believe in themselves?
Losing the theatre program is probably just the beginning. What will be next? Art? Band? Chorus? Certainly the athletic programs will be retained. If the upcoming generations lose the artistic classes and are left with only athletics. This world, troubled as it is, cannot afford to have a generation without the creative arts.
I implore the school district to reconsider their decision to end the theatre program at Mont Harmon. Please allow Madelaine Nyffeler to reach future generations with the theatre magic that only she can demonstrate.
If the district truly believes in their mission statement, "Carbon School District, through its educational alliances, will empower all students to become successful, productive, lifelong learners," return Madelaine Nyffeler to the teaching stage and see the empowerment she will produce in the students of Mont Harmon and in their futures.