Daniel Wins “Theater Teacher of the Year”

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By — Mia Cramaro

This year The Virginia Thespian Theater Educator of the Year Award went to Mr. Justin Daniel, Tuscarora’s very own theater teacher. Daniel has been working at Tuscarora since its opening in 2011. Before that he worked at a middle school for five years.

When asked about how he feels about this award, he said that he felt “Validated and reinvigorated. Theatre Education is a cumbersome field and Theatre teachers dedicate a large portion of their private lives to creating engaging lessons and curriculum, producing community productions, and offering opportunities for students to participate in professional development. At Tuscarora our program is known for a professional, familial environment; it’s cool that it is recognized.” 

As a teacher at Tuscarora he teaches a very different style as other teachers, but has a welcoming strategy. 

“I received the award for our department’s mission of inclusiveness and acceptance. There are so many opportunities for all students to discover who they are and how they can impact their community. For example, currently we are working alongside Mr. William Craig’s CAD class who designed the set for our winter musical  Charlie Brown while Technical Theatre classes make their visions come to life. Everyone played a part in that process as a designer/leader.”   

Daniel is known for making sure that everyone feels welcome and has a part in his classes. Because of this, it is no surprise that Daniel is being rewarded for his duties as a theatre teacher at Tuscarora and in Virginia. All of us at Tuscarora are elated for him for this huge acknowledgement in the theater community, and we are proud to call him ours!