Hoover Drama Instructor Receives Statewide Award

Chelsea Cunningham, Hoover High School drama director, received the Iowa Communication Association’s Outstanding New Classroom Teacher of the Year Award for 2010.

The award is given annually to a teacher with seven or less years of professional teaching experience working in a field related to communications, including radio, journalism, speech, and performing arts. Cunningham was nominated for the award by Gretta Berghammer, a professor at the University of Northern Iowa. She was honored at the annual Iowa Communication Association state conference in September.

Cunningham has been teaching drama at Hoover High School since 2008. Before coming to Des Moines, she student taught at Westside High School in Omaha, Neb.

“Every day, I am amazed by the vulnerability and risk that my students demonstrate on stage in their commitment to character, as well as the incredible skill showcased by our student technicians,” said Cunningham. “I love helping them create a great performance, but then stepping back the last week of the show and letting it become something they own.”

Cunningham’s students are currently preparing for their fall drama production, Aladdin, which will run October 28-30 at 7:30 p.m. Ticket prices are $7 for adults, $5 for students, and $3 for children age 10 and under.

The Iowa Communication Association is a professional organization whose purpose is to unite those persons with an academic or professional interest in all disciplines of communication and the performing arts at all educational and professional levels in Iowa for the promotion of their mutual interests and the advancement of their common field.