ANW’s Teacher of the Year 2016: Mary Lang
By A Noise Within
March 24, 2016
We are happy to announce that Mary Lang has been selected as our 15-16 Teacher of the Year! While it was difficult to select one winner out of the many qualified and dedicated teachers with whom we work, we felt that Mary’s passion and commitment to her students and her willingness to go above and beyond to develop a partnership with us made her more than deserving of this inaugural honor. Mary has been bringing students to A Noise Within for 15+ years, and builds our Shakespeare plays into her curriculum each year. She continues to inspire her students, year after year, while fostering in them a love of Shakespeare and the classics in a way that is fun and unique. Our Education Department at A Noise Within depends on teachers like Mary who share our mutual goal of exposing all students to live theatre and the classics, and we are thrilled to honor her with this year’s award!
A few words from Mary:
My name is Mary Lang. I have taught for 36 years for the Lennox School District. I currently teach sixth grade at Lennox Middle School which is 95% Latino, a Title 1 School, with a majority of students receiving free lunch. (My school is the absolute last one you see before you land at LAX.) I have been bringing my students to A Noise Within for at least the last 20 years. To be honest, I can’t remember a time when I haven’t brought my students to see a performance from ANW.
It started with Cymbeline and Julia (Rodriguez-Elliott, Co-Producing Artistic Director of ANW) can tell you a story about a crazy sixth grade teacher who taught her students the most difficult of Shakespeare’s works. (The bus was late and she had to hold the entire theater 15 minutes for us!) The kids loved the performance and a friendship was born. Since the majority of my students are English Learners, Shakespeare is the ideal teacher of the English language and its idioms. Live theater is the way Shakespeare wanted you to experience his work; this also completes the comprehension and “aha” moments for my students.
I graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a Spanish/Liberal Studies Major and received my bilingual certificate from USC and my Reading Specialist Credential from Cal State Dominguez Hills.