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The Broadway League Announces the 2018 League Educator Apple Award Recipients

New York, NY – June 28, 2018 – The Broadway League, the national trade organization for the commercial theatre industry, announces the 2018 League Educator Apple Award® recipients. Now in its sixteenth year, the awards acknowledge the efforts of local teachers and advocates who support programs relating to Broadway or Touring Broadway shows, promoting further development of theatre education.

“The Broadway League has been recognizing teachers, administrators, school district heads, and advocates from around the country for their commitment to arts education since 2003. We are proud to honor these outstanding individuals for their work in collaboration with Broadway League member venues that present Broadway and Touring Broadway shows,” said Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League. “Enriching young minds with the power of the arts is crucial to our communities and the future of live theatre. Through this award and other initiatives, we encourage the ongoing development of theatre education programs nationally.”

The 2018 League Educator Apple Award recipients are: Joy Guarino, Teaching Artist at Shea’s Performing Arts Center in Buffalo, NY (nominated by Shea’s Performing Arts Center); Sonja Kelly, Dance & Choice Program Coordinator of Glade View Elementary in Belle Glade, FL (nominated by The Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts); Emily Mokrycki, Drama Teacher at Omaha Burke High School in Omaha, NE (nominated by Omaha Performing Arts) and Regla Sanchez, English Language Learners (ELL) Parent & Community Engagement Instructional Teacher Coach at Pasco County School District in Pasco County, FL (nominated by The David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts).


JOY GUARINO (Teaching Artist, Shea’s Performing Arts Center, Buffalo, NY) has been developing and promoting the educational programs at Shea’s Performing Arts Center for the past decade. As a teaching artist and also a member of the creative team on many of Shea’s educational offerings, Ms. Guarino has worked to introduce students of all ages to the performing arts through various touring Broadway productions. Her innovative approaches to teaching have resulted in highly successful programs involving Blue Man Group, Cinderella, The Sound of Music, and The Lion King. Ms. Guarino has had a tremendous impact on her community as she has taught nearly 400 students in her years with Shea’s Performing Arts Center.

SONJA KELLY (Dance & Choice Program Coordinator of Glade View Elementary, Belle Glade, FL) Her dedication to introducing youth to the performing arts is evident through her collaborative work as a teaching artist and also as a full-time faculty member at Glade View Elementary School. Ms. Kelly’s recent work with the Kravis Center’s annual Broadway Reach program included a ten-week dance residency in conjunction with the touring production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I and concluded with a performance of thirty 3rd-grade students prior to a matinee of the show. The overwhelmingly positive response to the program is a testament to Ms. Kelly’s strong leadership and commitment to her students and community.

EMILY MOKRYCKI (Drama Teacher at Omaha Burke High School, Omaha, NE) is being recognized for her commitment to nurturing the partnership between Omaha Performing Arts and Omaha Burke High School. Over the last five years, Ms. Mokrycki has taken full advantage of the numerous workshops, forums, master classes, and other learning opportunities available through Omaha Performing Arts in order to introduce theatrical elements and skills to her students. Furthermore, her leadership and guidance with the Nebraska High School Theatre Awards and the Nebraska State Thespian Festival are highly admirable.

REGLA SANCHEZ (English Language Learners [ELL] Parent & Community Engagement Instructional Teacher Coach, Pasco County School District, Pasco County, FL) Over the past two years, Ms. Sanchez has worked to build a partnership between The Straz Center and her community in Pasco County School District. Through significant collaboration between the center and her school district, Ms. Sanchez’s initial vision for an arts education program in her county has been fully realized. The program has resulted in over 20 trips to The Straz Center for more than 500 students. Her devotion to connecting students in her schools to the performing arts is an outstanding example of leadership in arts education.