Vestavia Hills Living

2018

Official magazine published by the Vestavia Hills Chamber of Commerce for the City of Vestavia Hills which details the quality of life, education, shopping and lifestyle of Vestavia Hills.

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During her first year at VHHS, Stephenson led her students to earn 18 awards at the Trumbauer Festival, including "Best in Show" for students in the cast of "Almost, Maine," which competed against 17 other shows. 36 v e s tav i a h i l l s l i v i n g 2 0 1 8 V E S T A V I A H I L L S H I G H S C H O O L In December 2017, Jamie Stephenson, theatre teacher at VHHS, was named Alabama Theatre Teacher of the Year at the statewide Walter J. Trumbauer Drama Festival. While Stephenson has only taught in Vestavia Hills City Schools for one year, she has been teaching for 17 years in other districts in North Carolina and Alabama. She holds a bachelor's degree in theatre education from East Carolina University and a master's in directing from the Chicago Conservatory of Performing Arts. During her first year at VHHS, Stephenson led her students to earn 18 awards at the Trumbauer Festival, including "Best in Show" for students in the cast of "Almost, Maine," which competed against 17 other shows. With 45 students in the theatre program and two classes of film students, Stephenson hopes to see the program continue to grow and be "a spot where students learn to love theatre and embrace excellence in their art form," she says. To that end, the department recently won a grant from the Alabama Arts Education Initiative to help build its technical theatre program with a guest artist and some new equipment. "Theatre and the arts give students a chance to focus their emotions in a positive way, while also giving them tools for a successful life," Stephenson says. "In a theatre class, students learn how to work with others on a project, to meet deadlines, time management, self-motivation, empathy, and how to handle critique. We are always working on a show, scholarships or for competition, so theatre students are a close-knit group that are all working for the same goals."

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