2022 Recipient of the Beacon of Inclusive Excellence Award
MHS Teacher & Drama Club Advisor
After reading several examples, Mr. Young was undoubtably someone who embraces an empowering and inclusive environment for all of his students. Judy Hershner, a former colleague and friend of Mr. Young was more than thrilled to join others in hopes to see Mr. Young recognized for this prestigious honor. “Allen Young is an extraordinarily talented teacher and director,” Judy shared. “I have watched in awe of his abilities to bring out the best in his students in the classroom and on stage.”
Intro to Theater, Drama Club and Actors Studio are a few high school courses that Allen Young leads and teaches. He is known to go out of his way to make every one of his students feel welcome, included and special regardless of age, gender, or abilities. “Over the years, Allen has also had the opportunity to work with many students with special needs, and he always encourages and includes these young people in the stage productions and activities of Drama Club,” added Judy Hershner
Mr. Young goes out of his way daily to make accommodations for any situation that may arise. During the pandemic he provided specialty masks with clear partitions over the mouth to any actor and actress that felt they needed one to safely participate. That was necessary because facial expressions are a vital part of a performance. At times he also had to make last-minute decisions to reschedule the dates of upcoming shows due to many quarantines. It would have been easier to cancel a performance but that was not an option for Mr. Young. “I commend his willingness to persevere and adapt to the circumstances,” shared parent Jana Surace. “He was a steady role model our students needed in such stressful, unprecedented times and he showed that he always had the students’ best interest at the heart with the decisions he made.”
Mr. Young showcases his passion for the performing arts daily. He is indeed a role model to his students and his colleagues and goes ‘Above and Beyond’ in everything he does. “I’m proud that the drama program is a safe place for all students to create, and I’m constantly amazed to watch my theater students exceed their own lofty expectations,” said Mr. Young. Mr. Young’s unwavering guidance and support is sure to be a memory that will also not be forgotten. Congratulations, Mr. Young!
Jill Puma, MHS