Carnegie Mellon University

Excellence in Theatre Education Award

Behind every great performance is inspiration, and behind that inspiration is a great teacher.

Through the partnership with the Tony Awards and Carnegie Mellon University, the Excellence in Theatre Education Award was created to help recognize a K-12 theatre educator in the U.S. who embodies the highest standards of the profession and demonstrates a positive impact on the lives of students, advancement of the theatre profession and a commitment to excellence. The winner is announced at the annual Tony Awards ceremony in New York. 



Watch Roshunda's acceptance speech on YouTube

2022 Award Winner

Roshunda Jones-Koumba

Theater Director
G.W. Carver High School
Houston, Texas

Sensational. Nurturing. Inspirational. Admirable. Welcoming. Amazing. If there were more superlatives in existence, chances are they would be used to describe Roshunda Jones-Koumba. Although no stranger to recognition for her work as a theatre arts educator, she is modest when it comes to accepting recognition. She chooses, instead, to focus on her students and gives them credit for the success they've had as an award-winning troupe of thespians for the past 17-plus years.

Read More About Roshunda Jones-Koumba

headshot of Madeline Michel

Watch Michel's acceptance speech on YouTube

2019 Award Winner

Madeline Michel

Theater Director
Monticello High School
Charlottesville, Virginia

Since taking over the drama program 12 years ago, Madeline Michel has used her program to help students find their voices when dealing with the triumphs and pitfalls of life as a teen in today's world. The drama program and its students have become award-winners who are known for their original works.

Read More About Madeline Michel

Image of Melody Herzfeld

Watch Herzfeld's acceptance speech on YouTube 

Read CNN's coverage about Herzfeld's award

2018 Award Winner

Melody Herzfeld

Drama Department Director
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
Parkland, Florida

Herzfeld has been teaching drama since 2003 and has produced over 50 productions. She has produced the Children's Theatre Project since 2003 and has received countless Critics' Choices and state selections to represent their district in Thespian competitions. 


A photo of Rachel Harry

Watch Harry's acceptance speech on YouTube 

Watch CBS This Morning announce Harry's award

2017 Award Winner

Rachel Harry

Theatre Arts Teacher
Hood River Valley High School
Hood River, Oregon

For the last 30 years, Harry has taught drama at Hood River Valley High School. She is known for creating performances that sell out at her high school theatre and at a larger middle school theater with 1,100 seats. The drama program she built has inspired alumni and colleagues alike to pursue their dreams in the arts. 

Read More About Rachel Harry

A portrait of Marilyn McCormick

Watch McCormick's acceptance speech on YouTube 

Watch CBS This Morning announce McCormick's award


2016 Award Winner

Marilyn McCormick

Performing Arts Teacher / Theatre Director
Cass Technical High School
Detroit, Michigan

Among the thousands of students McCormick has taught, she has trained actors, playwrights, poets, producers, directors and theatre educators. Her students have gone on to attend colleges and conservatories before performing in regional theatre, off-Broadway, Broadway, television and film. 


A portrait of Corey Mitchell

Watch Corey's acceptance speech on YouTube

2015 Award Winner

Corey Mitchell

Performing Arts Teacher / Theatre Director
Northwest School of the Arts
Charlotte, North Carolina

Mitchell’s diverse background in theatre and commitment to the craft has made him a great asset to the community and region in which he works. He has mentored many students, who now find themselves working for him on a professional level. Through his tutelage, his students hone their craft and bring first-class productions to their audiences. Thanks to Mitchell’s influence and the power of arts education, some of those students are now attending the country’s most prestigious theatre arts schools and looking to make their own mark within the industry.


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