This Parkland drama teacher was honored at the Tony Awards.
Melody Herzfeld received the 2018 award for Excellence in Theater Education at the Tonys. Herzfeld teaches at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School where a gunman killed 17 students and teachers in February. Herzfeld protected 65 kids in her classroom during the shooting.
“I remember February 7th, sharing a circle with my beloved students and encouraging them to be good to each other when times were trying, and to keep the family together,” she stated at the awards. “And I remember only a week later, on February 14th, a perfect day, where all these lessons in my life and in their short lives would be called upon to set into action.”
Herzfeld has been the drama teacher at MSD since 2003. Her drama department has won many awards and, in the aftermath of the shooting, she’s encouraged students to stay involved leading the national movement for gun reform.
One of her students Cameron Kasky has now become a leading face and voice on gun reform and two of her other students wrote a song called “Shine.” During the tragic shooting at their school Herzfeld encouraged them to finish it and perform it on CNN.
After Herzfeld accepted her award at the 2018 Tony Awards, which included $10,000 toward her theater department, Marjory Stoneman Douglas students were invited on the stage to sing “Seasons of Love” from “Rent.”