The drama teacher from Texas, who won the award, received a special Tony Award

NEW YORK (AP) – A special Tony Award, honored by educators, will go to a Texas drama teacher who claims that “musical theater has a unique way of bringing people together.”

Roshunda Jones-Kumba, theater director of GW Carver Magnet High School in Houston, will receive the 2022 Outstanding Theatrical Education Award on June 12 at the Tony Awards in New York.

The annual Tony Award, presented by the Tony Prize and Carnegie Mellon University, honors American educators from kindergarten to 12th grade who “demonstrated a monumental impact on students’ lives and embodied the highest standards of the profession.”

“We accept everyone into the theater, so you are not afraid to be yourself. And it gives you confidence that you can do whatever you want, allows you to work with different people and be the best in the world, ”Jones-Kumba said in a statement. “Theater is life. I am very grateful to The Tony Awards and Carnegie Mellon University for this award. ”

The award includes a $ 10,000 prize and a pair of tickets to the ceremony and Tony’s gala ceremony. The jury, consisting of the American Theater Wing, the Broadway League, Carnegie Mellon and other leaders in the theater industry, selects the winner based on candidates nominated by the public.

Jones-Kumba has already received two prestigious awards in 2021 – the Stephen Schwartz Music Teacher of the Year Award and the Thespian Society International’s Inspirational Theater Educator Award.

“I’m a fan of art education everywhere. It doesn’t matter how much funding or support you have; magic can be created with determination and creativity, ”she said when she received the Schwartz Prize. “Musical theater has a unique way to bring together people with different backgrounds and experiences to create theatrical magic.”

In 2020, Jones-Kumba was inducted into the Texas Fesp Hall of Fame and received for the first time the “Teacher of the Year of the Arts” nomination from TUTS Leading Ladies. She was also TxETA Teacher of the Year 2017 and Aldine ISD Carver High School Teacher of the Year in 2009 and 2014.

Jones-Kumba is a graduate of Prairie View A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in theater and a master’s degree in management education. The city of Wharton, Texas, declared June 28 a day to honor her.


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