UPDATE: 3/20/14 10:32 AM
She's the star of the show.
Parkersburg High School's director of theater wins the West Virginia Thespian Festival Theater Teacher of the Year Award.
"The other directors that I get to collaborate with and meet with all year – we're all very close and very good friends; so it's awesome to be nominated by your peers,” Lori Zyla says.
Senior Allison Watkins is really glad her teacher was recognized for her hard work.
"I’ve actually known Mrs. Zyla for a long time because I was with her at Van Devender whenever she taught theater there, and so it's kind of nice because she's always been inspiring to me and kind of like a role model that I look up to,” Watkins says.
Dymond Murray didn't come to high school planning on being a thespian.
"I came in more debate geared, so speech and debate,” the sophomore says. “And then once I was in that class she suggested to me that I might like acting. It's made me a better debater, as well as kind of brought in a love for acting in me -- so I was really appreciative that Ms. Zyla was awarded with that."
The 13-year-veteran of Wood County Schools follows a long line of people she admires in getting this award and it's all about the creativity.
"Taking a script and just seeing how many different ways you can go with it is really the fun part for me, and then watching the kids come out of their shells and transform and get better and better throughout the process,” Zyla says.
Taking this path has made such a difference for the girl who used to be shy.
"Ms. Zyla, along with the other students that are involved have allowed me and encouraged me to become more vocal and active and I'm not afraid to talk in front of people,” Watkins says. “I think public speaking is a very important thing for the future and your career, so I’m very thankful for that opportunity."
Zyla says there are jobs in the arts, something she tries to instill in her students. Just get the right training and know it's not all about being on stage.
It's her time to shine.
Parkersburg High School's director of theater is the big winner of the West Virginia Theater Teacher of the Year Award.
Lori Zyla says the other directors she gets to collaborate with during the year are all very good friends.
So it's awesome to be nominated by your peers.
"I definitely follow a long line of people I admire in getting it. It's an award that's given every year at the West Virginia State Thespian Festival, and we just returned from three days in Morgantown at the Creative Arts Center this weekend with all of our troops presenting one-act plays and theatrical projects," she says.
Zyla says taking a script and seeing how many different ways you can go with it is the fun part for her.
Then watching the kids come out of their shells and get better and better throughout the process.