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Choir Director Nancy Lee Honored Again

Nancy Lee

Tony Awards® Excellence in Theatre Education Award recognizes Nancy Lee with Honorable Mention for the second year in a row! The Tony Awards® and Carnegie Mellon University announced that Nancy Lee, director of arts programming at Washburn High School in Minneapolis, has received an Honorable Mention as part of the 2017 Excellence in Theatre Education Awards. This is the second year in a row that Lee has been recognized with this honor. This recognition puts Lee in the top 2 percent of teachers nominated for the award. Lee was selected from 1,100 applicants from across the U.S. for leadership in building a thriving performing and visual arts program at Washburn. The award honors dedicated professionals who discover talented students, nurture and inspire them, and help launch their lifelong journeys as theater supporters and professionals. The 2017 awards include one winner and 20 honorable mentions. “The arts and theater are core to educating students, and we are so proud of Nancy Lee and the strong arts program she has been instrumental in building at Washburn,” said Rhonda Dean, principal of Washburn High School. “We are truly fortunate to have Nancy as part of the Washburn community. She brings her passion for teaching, music and theater to the classroom and to students. She brings in a very diverse group of students who come together lifting up their voices. We encourage everyone to come see the great work being done in the arts at Washburn with Nancy’s leadership.” Washburn’s Theater Arts program started with a handful of students when Lee joined Washburn in 2008. Her leadership has helped build a thriving program and helped hundreds of students find their voices on stage. Under Nancy’s direction, recent Washburn productions have earned the Hennepin Theater Trust’s top honor, Outstanding Overall Production. Lee nurtures, challenges, coaches and sets high expectations for her students’ success. To date, Lee has launched 16 students who are pursuing Bachelor of Fine Arts programs in college; her former students are on stage in New York, in regional theaters and community theaters. During the day, Lee teaches choir to hundreds of Washburn students. All her work building the theater arts program is extracurricular – a testament to her commitment to young artists. She builds theater leaders: students who direct and produce shows, serve as leaders of the tech and costume crews, and stage manage performances. She builds programs that are inclusive and welcoming to all students. About the award: Watch the video used to nominate Nancy for the award: