Detroit’s got talent.

And that talent is nurtured by teachers – teachers like Marilyn McCormick, drama teacher at Cass Technical High School in Detroit, Michigan.

This week, The Tony Awards has announced that McCormick is the winner of the second Excellence in Theatre Education Award, presented by Carnegie Mellon University (CMU).

McCormick’s students, present and past, along with colleagues at Cass Technical High School submitted letters, tributes and videos through the application process.

But it’s not just the joy of an award the teacher, who retires this year, receives. To celebrate her hard work and valuable contribution to theatre education, McCormick will receive a $10,000 grant for her theatre program and a trip to New York City to be recognized during the live CBS broadcast of the 70th Annual Tony Awards on June 12, 2016.

McCormick and Cass Tech students were informed of her selection by a surprise visit to McCormick’s classroom by Renée Elise Goldsberry, a 2016 Tony Award nominee for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical for her starring role in Broadway’s Hamilton. Goldsberry is a CMU alum and served on this year’s judge’s panel.

“To think that my students recommended me for this award … that’s an honor,” said McCormick. “I am overwhelmed to be receiving this recognition, and I can’t wait to go to the Tony Awards. I have always told my students, ‘Good, better, best; never let it rest, until your good gets better and your better is best.’ Well, this is certainly the best!”

McCormick is the drama instructor within the Performing Arts curriculum at Cass Technical High School. She teaches courses such as Children’s Theatre – an introductory theatre course geared toward teaching the basics of theatre etiquette and technique; Readers Theatre – a more experienced ensemble of young artists who have decided to pursue theatre/acting as a profession; and she supervises the Performing Arts Guild, a troop of comic actors who perform comedy sketch/variety shows to raise money for the Performing Arts department – which is all self-funded.

The Tony Awards will be broadcast in a live three-hour ceremony from the Beacon Theatre on the CBS television network on Sunday, June 12, 2016.

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