I am saddened and frustrated by the decision M-CHS has made to cut the theatre program and not renew the current theatre teacher, Bennie Palko-Herreras contract. Palko-Herrera has tirelessly encouraged, supported and taught our students and has added to the program, including the Impulsive Improvisors, aerial fabric and dance. She has worked beyond the call of duty because of her passion for theatre and belief in the students.
This program is not just about acting and performing a play every year. My son, for the last three years, and my daughter, just this year, have been involved in the program. My son has had the opportunity to learn and grow in many areas: stage work, lighting and sound, designing and building sets, designing programs and flyers, directing and producing, as well as performing with song, dance, and acting. What other program in the school offers such a wide range of interests to pursue, or gives the students the ability to showcase other skills theyve learned in choir or band?
Whether students pursue a career in this field or not, they have gained invaluable experience for their future. It saddens me that so many students will lose an opportunity to explore and pursue their creative talents. Many students find their niche in the drama program and a place to belong. My children have participated in a variety of activities in the schools, including academic, athletic, band and choir, not just theatre-related activities. As a parent and educator, I enjoy and support all the activities for our students, but are some more important or vital than others? Are there other programs other than the theatre program being so drastically cut?
I hope MCHS and the community realize the importance of this program, and the impact it and the teacher have had on our students.