Rachel Harry, winner of the 2017 Tony's Excellence in Theatre Education Award.
Rachel Harry, winner of the 2017 Tony's Excellence in Theatre Education Award.
(photo provided by Carnegie Mellon University)

The Tony Awards, along with higher education partner and award presenter Carnegie Mellon University, has announced that Rachel Harry of Hood River, Oregon has been named the third recipient of the Excellence in Theatre Education Award. Harry, a drama teacher at Hood River Valley High School, will receive the award at the 71st Annual Tony Awards on June 11 at Radio City Music Hall.

Harry has been teaching students theater at Hood River Valley High School for 30 years. She built the program along the way and created performances that frequently sell out at the high school and a larger middle school theater with 1,100 seats. Among students and colleagues, she is known by her nickname, "Krum."

"I feel strongly that my teaching should be student-driven," said Harry, who was an honorable mention for the award in 2016. "I want my students to explore and to reach and to fail, because all of those things — especially failure — will lead to new avenues of learning. And that makes for better people, more well-rounded people, whether you go into the theater business or not."

The Excellence in Theatre Education Award recognizes a K-12 theater educator in the U.S. who has demonstrated monumental impact on the lives of students and who embodies the highest standards of the profession. A panel of judges comprising the American Theatre Wing, the Broadway League, Carnegie Mellon University, and other leaders from the theater industry selected Harry from finalists across the nation.

Harry will receive $10,000 for her theater program, round-trip airfare and hotel accommodations for her and a guest to New York City, and tickets to the Tony Awards and gala.

For tickets and more information about the 2017 Tony Awards, click here.