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Stewart Shelley – Pleasant Grove High School

It is truly an honor to write to you in recommendation of Mr. Stewart Shelley for the KSL Teacher Feature Award. In the few years that I have known him, I have had the opportunity to benefit from his fantastic work in 5 classes, 8 theatrical productions, 3 Shakespeare teams, and 6 school trips. I have also worked extensively with him personally while serving as an assistant director to him, as well as the drama club president. Truly he is a remarkable man and we, as his students, are privileged to associate with such a teacher every day.

Mr. Shelley knows and cares for every student individually. He is always looking out for the needs of each person in each class, and he directs his own activities toward filling those needs. In a department where the spotlight could easily remain on one person, Mr. Shelley has demonstrated a great power to create equality by distributing opportunities to different people at different times. He sees that everyone has the capacity to shine, not just the elite few, and he acts upon that principle.

There are those who speak of “going the extra mile.” In Mr. Shelley’s case, he always goes at least the extra ten miles. Continually striving to better himself, the program, and his students, he has taught us that there is always something to be done in the world, and he has made a great example of that himself. He always endeavors to undertake what seems to be impossible, and finds innovative ways to make it happen. Working with him to plan our school winter formal dance was great evidence of this. Mr. Shelley told us that the drama program had a reputation for the best decorations, and he insisted that we uphold that reputation. As a result of his creative ideas and determination, our dance raised the standard for other dances to follow. Mr. Shelley sets high goals for himself and for the drama program, and he continually surpasses them.

Mr. Shelley has made it very clear that he will always be honest with us. That is very valuable to us as theater students, because in so many instances, teachers and directors find it easier to stretch the truth about our performances in order to not hurt our feelings, rather than tell us the honest truth in a tactful way and help us learn and grow. We appreciate how dependable and trustworthy Mr. Shelley is.
In many classes at the high school, our teachers are mainly concerned with pounding their subject into our brains and then testing us on it at the end of the quarter. The difference between these teachers and Mr. Shelley is care. Mr. Shelley sincerely cares about what happens to his students both inside and outside the classroom, at this point in our lives and for the rest of our futures. Contrary to popular belief, a theater class is about more than just learning how to put on a costume and say lines. Theater is the study of life. Mr. Shelley continually seizes every opportunity to teach us life lessons, principles that will be important to us as human beings, no matter what field we choose to pursue. This kind of instruction is remarkable and much needed in the high school setting.

I recommend Mr. Shelley to you as one of the finest teachers with whom I have ever had the pleasure of working. He has made a vast difference in the lives of hundreds of students. What he has done and will continue to do for the students at Pleasant Grove High School is incredible, and I believe I speak for the entire student body when I tell you that he is well deserving of this or any award.

Sincerely,
Cassandra Hill
Student

It is a pleasure to nominate Stewart Shelley for KSL’s Teacher Feature Award. As his wife, I have watched as he has spent countless hours working to educate his students. He not only teaches them about theater, but about life. He is continually teaching his students to be “Responsible Citizens of the World.” Over the short 7 years he has taught, he has had a huge impact on the lives of countless students as well as their families. Also, as his wife I am biased to how wonderful he is. Therefore, I wanted to share some of the things that have been communicated over the years about him and the influence he has had. My hope is that this compilation will speak for itself to his worthiness to be considered for, and awarded the KSL Teacher Feature Award.

-Wife

Mr. Shelley is one of the most amazing people I have ever met. His enthusiasm for theatre and his impeccable teaching styles have sucked me into the wonderful world of theatre that, two years ago, I would have never thought possible.

– Wes King

Mr. Shelley changed my life. His teaching styles helped me love theater. When you are in a show the Mr. Shelley directs you become a family because he knows that is what makes a great show and he helps each character/person develop to their full potential for the show! Mr. Shelley respects his students and opens up the world of theater in a way I never thought possible. I owe Mr. Shelly so much because of the joy and friends he helped me find in high school by being such an incredible teacher!

– Sophie Hall

I have come to respect Mr. Shelley more and more as I work toward becoming a teacher. I credit him with learning how to be a good person, a professional both in the classroom and in the workplace. Thank you Mr. Shelley!

– Katie Palmer

Mr. Shelley was the best teachers I have ever had. I loved going to his class and learning the lessons of life. And because of his class I found out what I wanted to do in life and what I was good at and for that I am grateful

– Janessa Jones

Stewart Shelley was, and still is (although he may not know it), one of the most influential teachers I have ever had …the honor of learning from. It’s been 3 years since I was in his classroom, but his lessons are still with me. He was a man who taught by example. He interpreted every lesson, every song, every scene, every moment, into one that was an opportunity to touch on a value of life and living. He created a safe haven for kids in his classroom to become anyone they wanted to be. I, in particular, was someone who switched schools often and had a home life that was not as stable as most. Thankfully for him, I found a passion in the nitch of theater that continues to drive my future. I want to thank Stewart Shelley for believing in me!

Sincerely,
Klar Christensen (Kroon)

I really don’t think I can put into words how much I’ve learned from Mr. Shelley. He’s not only taught me a great, great deal about theater and acting, but he helped me discover myself; what exactly my morals and beliefs are, what I like and dislike, how I learn… he’s also taught me a great deal about the world around me, anything from history to tolerance and acceptance. I think few people have affected me and taught me more than him.

-Julie Davey

Mr. Shelley is honestly one of the most influential teachers I’ve ever had. He didn’t just teach theater; he taught about life. I opened up so much in his class and really learned to step out of my comfort zone and take risks. And we all knew that he cared about us individually. I really am so grateful for the experiences he gave us.

– Heather Johnson

Mr. Shelley and his classes changed me as a person. Before his drama 2 class back in 10th grade, I was an awkward person-very shy and socially undeveloped. In Mr. Shelley’s program I have grown and learned to fully function in my social environment. I am forever indebted to him. He taught me a lot about life and how to live it. I respect him as a teacher, director, and as a person.

– Mikey Miles

I grew up so much during the two years I got to take Mr. Shelley’s classes and participate, in one way or another, in his musicals. He taught me that “straight plays” are beautiful. 🙂 And I still use the “resume skills” he taught us to this day. Thank you, Stewart Shelley!

– Ashley Harmon

Mr. Shelley has been by far the best teacher I have ever had. He has not only taught us about theater, but about life in general. He has been a wonderful role model for us and has helped us to be better people, better students, and better actors. Thank you!

– Heather Phelon

Stewart Shelley was such a positive influence in my life. I have so much respect for him. I hope I am doing my part to be a responsible citizen of the world!

– Jamie Terry