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Drama teacher inspires Lexington High artists

LEXINGTON, S.C. — For shaping students on and off stage, Lexington High School Theater Teacher Christin O. Pirkle won the 2017 Educational Theatre Association’s International Thespian Society Inspirational Theatre Educator Award.

Pirkle teaches from years of experience on stage, as an opera singer who toured Europe and the United States.

A last-minute opportunity to direct a 6-week intensive opera at an inner city school in Columbia allowed Pirkle, who holds a doctorate in vocal performance, to find another way to use her voice. She fell in love with teaching and says she’s had the “fever” for it ever since.

The recognition from the Educational Theatre Association doesn’t come as a surprise to Pirkle’s students, who know her dedication to arts education and to them. She works tirelessly to bring out the best in them, even students who don’t intend to have a career in the arts.

“Whether we are performing as cavemen, Greek gods or modern Americans, I relate every movement and word uttered to preparing for a job or college interview. Some students begin the year without the ability to utter a word in front of a crowd and end the year quoting Shakespeare with hands raised proudly in the air,” Pirkle reflected.

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