Position: Theater Teacher
School: Rincon High School
School District: Tucson Unified School District
City, State: Tucson, Arizona
About the Nominee: Maryann Green is an exceptional teacher, but what makes her truly remarkable is that she is also an exceptional "inspirer." Her passion for theater and her respect for her craft resonates in everything she does in her classroom. Ms. Green has the uncanny ability to grow her students' talents and instill a respect of the stage and all of its attendant features in them. Her devotion and dedication to her students is what sets her apart from other educators. She works tirelessly, going above and beyond to ensure that the right selections regarding plays, scenes and topics are made available to her students. She is an astute fusion of educator and community builder. Within her classroom, she has created a place where students can explore the art of theater and learn in an environment that fosters their natural abilities and helps them develop new skills. Ms. Green gets to know her students well, and that respect is very much reciprocal as evidenced by how the students respond to her. They know they have a fierce and dedicated advocate in Ms. Green, and this is what makes her a standout teacher. She inspires her students to think outside of traditional theater curriculum and see the world through different lenses. One stunning example of this is a few years back, when Ms. Green consulted her students on a show she wanted to produce, "The Laramie Project," which dealt with subject matter regarding LGBTQ content and rights. The students were behind the project 100%, as was the administration at RHS, and rehearsals began with overwhelming support. Somehow, a member of the community got wind of the production and did everything in their power to attempt to get it shut down. Ms. Green stood by her students and the show every step of the way. She sacrificed her own personal time to combat the sabotage attempts, even when her own career was on the line. Despite the media attention and public scrutiny, Ms. Green proved to be a incredible leader and did not waiver in her efforts. If her students wanted the production to proceed, she was going to do everything in her power to ensure that it did. Her efforts eventually paid off, and the show was able to be performed. It's truly remarkable to see an educator of her caliber in action and witness the dedication she has for her students.
For all of these reasons and many more, Ms. Green truly embodies what it means to be a LifeChanger in one's community.