The following was submitted by Brayden Summers.
“Mr. Carpenter has been the theater teacher at Stansbury for almost nine years. He has won five consecutive UHSAA 3A State Drama championships and six consecutive Region championships. He directs four high school productions per year. He stretches his students talents by directing a classical play – like Macbeth or any other Shakespeare’s plays – every year for his Advanced drama class.
I was one of Mr. Carpenters students for four years. I graduated in 2015, and I know I wouldn’t have been able to do so without him. He pushed me to stay on top of my grades in order to perform in his productions; and he personally made sure his seniors were on track to graduate.
Five months before graduation, he coached four seniors to audition for school scholarships at UTA (Utah Theatre Association). Through his direction, I was able to receive a full tuition scholarship at USU Eastern while my peers also received thousands in scholarships auditioning at UTA. He takes four seniors to UTA every year for their chance to audition for theatre scholarships; through his hard work and direction he has helped countless students receive a significant sum in scholarships.
On a personal note; Mr. Carpenter helped me through a difficult time. All the students are aware that they may confide with him if they need advice. He single handedly prevented my suicidal thoughts, and guided me to coming out of the closet to my parents. I sat with him one night after rehearsals, and while I was bawling, I told him how afraid I was of being rejected by society and more importantly – my family. He helped me realize that my parents would still love me, and people would understand that I am still who I am; that being gay isn’t WHO you are – it is a PART of what makes you who you are.
He is an amazing educator and man alike. I have known him professionally, and because of that, a friendship sprouted – he attended our family Christmas Eve party because he is very close with my family and I. He goes above and beyond for his job, pushing his limits to breaking point. When he directs a show, he is at the school from 7:30 in the morning to 11:00 at night. He always encourages his students to reach a higher level, and most of his students reach levels that they didn’t think they were capable of achieving.”