Kaia Hirt, an English teacher at Armstrong High School, was honored by the Minnesota Educational Theater Association (META) with their Theater Educator of the Year award for 2014. Hirt was presented with the award at META’s annual conference on Sept. 13.
“I am humbled and honored to be recognized by my colleagues in the field of theatre through the META organization. I have so much respect for the great work being done by theatre educators around the state, and here in our district. I’m also grateful to work in a district that places a high value on the fine arts,” said Hirt.
Hirt was most notably recognized for her work with Armstrong’s One Act last January, Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls Around the World. The nomination and the selection committee felt the production served a much greater good to the community that transcended the competition.
“It was a daring choice and a significant example of what theater can do to illuminate and bring forth issues of the human condition,” wrote Gregg Sawyer, president of the Minnesota Educational Theater Association.
“I believe diversity in theatre is essential. The faces, voices, and stories of all students need to be valued. When students see their culture respected in the curriculum, in the classroom or on the stage, engagement and achievement rise. Students’ insights make them experts because they’re able to contribute to the teaching and learning process. The collaborative art of theater is such a great way to amplify students voices,” said Hirt.