Four East Central University alumni and public school teachers received scholarship awards to the Katy Morris Shakespeare Symposium, sponsored by the 34th Annual Oklahoma Shakespeare Festival.
Katy Peercy, who teaches junior English at Tishomingo; Erin Robertson, who teaches junior English at Byng; Samantha Manuel, who teaches senior English at Seminole; and Megan Cooper, who teaches freshman English at Kingston, were honored for their impact on public education. They are all alumni of ECU’s English Education Program.
The symposium was held recently on the campus of Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant.
The four were treated to a paid two-day registration to the symposium, including lodging, meals, a special mixer with the board of the Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival and VIP seats and treatment at the OSF performance of Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors.
“These women are so inspiring. They are world changers,” said Mary Kathryn Hodge, president of the board of directors of the Oklahoma Shakespeare Festival and founder of the Katy Morris Shakespeare Symposium.
It was the second year of the KMSS, which honors longtime English teacher Katy Morris, who taught language arts in elementary, middle and high schools throughout many southeastern Oklahoma schools, primarily in rural areas.
Morris was a patron and board member of the Oklahoma Shakespeare Festival and teacher to many who served on the board. She was also a high school teacher of ECU adjunct instructor Marian Anderson.
The KMSS was created to share Morris’ enthusiasm for Shakespeare and the arts and to lift up public school teachers in English, theater, music, arts, speech and others who want to integrate the arts into their curriculum.
Dr. Teresa Rothrock, associate professor in ECU’s Department of English and Languages, was the keynote speaker for the event with sessions on “Why Shakespeare?” and Discovering Shakespeare Alongside Your Students”.