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Broadway League to Present 2014 Educator Apple Awards Tonight at the Jimmys

Broadway League to Present 2014 Educator Apple Awards Tonight at the Jimmys

The Broadway League, the national trade organization for the commercial theatre industry, reveals the 2014 League Educator Apple Award recipients. The awards acknowledge the efforts of local teachers and administrators who support programs relating to Broadway or Touring Broadway shows, promoting further development of theatre education.

For the first time, the Apple Awards will be presented at the 6th Annual National High School Musical Theater Awards (NHSMTA) Showcase in New York City tonight, June 30th, at the Minskoff Theatre when 56 finalists from across America will compete for the coveted Jimmy Award for Best Performance by an Actor and Best Performance by an Actress.

"The Broadway League has bestowed the League Educator Apple Award since 2003 to recognize educators, administrators, and school district heads from around the country for their commitment to arts education, and their work in collaboration with Broadway League member venues that present Touring Broadway shows," said Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of the Broadway League. "Through these awards, the League encourages the development of theatre education programs nationally while helping to build a future generation of theatregoers."

The League is committed to working with its members to develop new audiences and model projects by supporting education initiatives across the country. Now in its twelfth year, the League Educator Apple Awards have honored educators, administrators, and school district leaders from around the country for their commitment to arts education and their work in collaboration with League-member venues that present Touring Broadway shows.

2014 LEAGUE EDUCATOR APPLE AWARDS RECIPIENTS:

The 2014 recipients are Vincent Gassetto, Principal of MS 343 Academy of Applied Mathematics and Technology in Bronx, New York (nominated by Situation Interactive in New York, New York); Holly Valentine, Fourth Grade Teacher at Walt Disney Elementary School in Rochester, New York (nominated by the Rochester Broadway Theatre League in Rochester, New York); Maureen Binienda, Principal at South High Community School in Worchester, Massachusetts (nominated by the Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts in Hanover, Massachusetts); and Brian Sammons, Third Grade Teacher at Aplington Elementary in Aplington, Iowa (nominated by Des Moines Performing Arts in Des Moines, Iowa).

Vincent Gassetto, Principal of MS 343 Academy of Applied Mathematics and Technology in Bronx, NY

Principal Vincent Gassetto demonstrates an incredible combination of passion and discipline. His genuine investment in his students' future drives everything he does, and he has made arts exposure and engagement a priority not only in the classroom, but also in the education of his teachers and administrators, emphasizing its importance and impact for students in today's education. He is being saluted for his collaboration with Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella, Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark, War Horse, and others.

Holly Valentine, Fourth Grade Teacher at Walt Disney Elementary School in Rochester, NY

Holly Valentine is a beloved teacher who has touched the lives of hundreds of students. It is her passion for the performing arts and her "it's all about the kids" approach to education that propels her to the success level and recognition that she has achieved from her colleagues, administration, parents, but most of all from her former students. She is being honored for her collaboration with The Phantom of the Opera, as well as The Lion King, Mary Poppins, and others.

Maureen Binienda, Principal of South High Community School in Worcester, MA

Principal Maureen Binienda is being recognized for her collaboration on "Adopt A School: The Memphis Project." This school-wide project integrated the arts into every subject across the curriculum and allowed 1,300 students to see their first Touring Broadway show, Memphis. Her involvement in the community is remarkable and her passion for education is unmatched. 80% of her students live below the poverty level and 12% are homeless. Principal Binienda engaged her school in the "Memphis Project," was fully committed to the initiative, and her passion was a major contributor to its success.

Brian Sammons, Third Grade Teacher at Aplington Elementary in Aplington, Iowa

For the past seven years, Brian Sammons has facilitated a classroom pen pal program with actress Hayley Podschun. Though his rural Iowa community is 100+ miles away from the nearest touring Broadway venue, his students have developed a meaningful connection to Broadway through their ongoing relationship with Ms. Podschun and participating in class projects inspired by the shows in which she has appeared. The collaboration was recently elevated when students traveled to Des Moines to meet their pen pal in person for the first time and to see her perform as Glinda in the national tour of Wicked.


The Broadway League, founded in 1930, is the national trade association for the Broadway industry. The League's 700-plus members include theatre owners and operators, producers, presenters, and general managers who present in nearly 200 markets in North America, as well as suppliers of goods and services to the theatre industry. Each year, League members bring Broadway to nearly 30 million people in New York and on tour across the U.S. and Canada. For more information, visit www.BroadwayLeague.com, or follow The Broadway League on Twitter @TheBwayLeague or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BroadwayLeague. BROADWAY.ORG is the League's new official on-line headquarters for Broadway in NYC and on tour. Download the free Broadway.org mobile app for iOS or Android, and the free IBDB mobile app for iOS or Android.

The Broadway League annually presents the Antoinette Perry "Tony" Awards, one of the most coveted awards in the entertainment industry, with The American Theatre Wing.

Broadway theatres are filled with an exciting array of new and classic musicals and plays, providing the perfect experience for every audience. Great seats are available at every price point and are easy to buy online, by phone, or in person at theatre box offices. It's always the perfect time to see a show. Broadway performs every day of the week at multiple curtain times to accommodate every schedule.

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