It is with excitement and appreciation that we announce to you that Shawn Hann, Director of Theatre at DSA for over 17 years, was recently named the 2018 Colorado High School Theatre Educator of the Year by the Colorado Thespians! Mrs. Hann’s accomplishments are too numerous to list, but we want to make you are aware of what she does behind the scenes and what we think of Mrs. Hann as an educator.
In announcing this award, it was stated that what sets Mrs. Hann apart from her peers is a combination of ability, drive, desire, and work ethic, together with a meaningful and intentional theatre curriculum that she designed herself. It was explained that when Shawn set out to create a curriculum, her goal was to ensure that DSA students were prepared to enter rigorous performing arts programs if they chose to do so. Shawn developed a sequential curriculum for students from 6th through 12 grade by contacting top university/conservatory theatre programs. She asked them what they wanted to see in outstanding incoming theatre students. Today, thanks to Shawn’s hard work and the foundation she provides students, a majority of each theatre class has the opportunity to attend top tier public and private universities and conservatories. Many of Mrs. Hann’s students leave DSA with the goal of becoming acting professionals, while others select and are accepted to schools offering a rigorous academic curriculum. Importantly for all of her students, Shawn stresses professionalism, preparedness, and the significance of each actor in the ensemble. These are valuable tools for any student’s career goals.
As parents and friends of DSA, you should also know that Mrs. Hann’s work goes well beyond the stage and the classroom. She is constantly helping her students understand themselves and the world around them through the programming she introduces to audiences. She challenges students to stretch themselves in ways they don’t always understand. Shawn’s ultimate goal each day is to be all she can for every single student. She encourages students to tell their own version of a playwright’s story and asks students to delve into their own lives to create character.
In accepting the award, Shawn beautifully stated that “students have a voice in the world and I want them to know they can express it in this art form.”
It is with our congratulations that we make this announcement. DSA is fortunate to have Mrs. Hann working with our theatre students, alongside her team teacher, Mr. Becker. Together, they have made the theatre department what it is today.
Thanks to both of you for all you do for students!