BOONVILLE — Only months ago, Starmount bid a bittersweet farewell to a loyal teacher of many years. Nanette Bennett retired this year from her post as the theater arts teacher, yearbook attendant and senior graduation coordinator.
While she is still widely missed at the school, the new drama teacher, Ashton Middleton, has been welcomed with warm excitement. Middleton herself has expressed great enjoyment at her new job and the many students and fellow staff members whom she has met.
A former graduate of Starmount, Middleton fits in with the busy school schedule well. Although she claims to have never expected to return to her own high school, she is very grateful to be working there now. She came highly recommended by Bennett, who had her as a student when Middleton attended high school.
With her four-year theater degree from Western Carolina University, it was clear she was a perfect fit for the job. Although Middleton never intended to be a teacher, for her senior year in college, she did participate in student teaching and found it very entertaining. However, the most prominent motivation she had to chase after a career in the theatrical aspect was the inspiration sparked by her former theater arts teacher.
Middleton enrolled in Bennett’s class every year she was at Starmount. Of all her classes, theater arts was her favorite, and she found immense pleasure working in the plays. Unlike most people who tried to chase stardom, Middleton was fascinated in the jobs that happened behind the scenes. Painting scenery and working backstage were her interests.
With her new job, Middleton is able to apply all the knowledge she has of the arts and really delve into her passion for the arts. When asked to describe her experience at Starmount so far using just one word, Middleton replied with “enjoyable.”
Christy Rucker is a member of the Starmount High School Journalism Club.