GOLDEN APPLE: January 2014 Winner

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This month’s Golden Apple award winner is known for helping his students to do things they may not always want to.  And the students at East High School really appreciate it.

“When I first started this class, I was nervous,” said student Myles Boone.

“I knew one person in here, just barely,” said student Zee Schlaf.

“It was nothing like I thought it would be, it was like a whole new world in here,” said student Carlos Quintana.

Welcome to Mr. Allan’s theater arts class where the sky is the limit.

“The bell rings and when you come in the room, it has to be quiet when the announcements come on.  But then, the fun starts to happen,” Boone said.

“I thought it would be just worksheets, boring teacher and a bunch of paperwork,” Quintana said.

But four years of teaching at East High School shows Mr. Jamaal Allan’s found his passion for breaking down barriers and introducing his students to acting.

“Maybe it’s just me or maybe I’m one of the few people who will admit it but I was a confused, goofy scared kid when I was that age.  I think maybe we all are or adults just get better at hiding it,” said teacher and Golden Apple Award winner Jamaal Allan.

His goofy nature and passion for acting is why his students love him and why they nominated him for the Golden Apple award.

“We award you, Mr. Jamaal Allan with the Golden Apple,” said Tom Robson.

The theater teacher has directed a handful of productions, helping to improve the reputation of the drama department at the school and drawing in bigger audiences than ever before.

Allan said it’s not about his success but the success in the students both on and off the stage.

“It really is rewarding when you see individuals or classes, as a group kind of mold together, to push themselves to take the next step.  To try things they would be afraid of,” Allan said.

And now, acting in front of others is no big deal.

“I had no idea who any of these people were, I only knew like one person.  They are all my friends now,” Schlaf said.

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