Lyndsey Witmer’s passion might sound surprising for someone described as quiet and shy.
“It’s definitely helped me with confidence. I’ve gotten to do some crazy things that I probably wouldn’t have pushed myself to do if I wasn’t taking a drama class,” said Witmer, who is graduating from North Star School. “I’ve gotten more comfortable doing crazy things and just getting up in front of people and doing whatever I need to do.”
North Star is an alternative school in the Mead School District, where core academics – like math and reading – are done at home, and classes that help students explore their passions are offered at the school.
“I hardly could get a word out of her when I first met her,” said Ginny Cronin, program director and teacher at North Star. “She was so quiet that if you asked her a question she would just shrug, and now she has no worries about succeeding.”
Witmer and her parents decided they needed more guidance in her education and, thanks to some friends, found North Star.
Witmer didn’t hesitate to name her favorite part of of the school. .
“The drama department,” she said. “Every year we have an annual play, and you can sign up to be in the class and you learn different drama techniques and improvisational skills.”
The drama department has helped Witmer explore one of her biggest passions – costuming – and has given her the opportunity to explore the possibility of teaching drama as a career option.
“Her passion is drama,” said Cronin. “And you wouldn’t think that because she comes across as very reserved and very shy. And drama is an area that she has really been able to blossom in.”
While Witmer hasn’t totally nailed down her plans for the future, she’s on track to obtain her associate degree in the next year thanks to Running Start classes.
North Star has met one of its biggest goals in its success with Witmer – helping students explore their passions.
“That group of kids has really become a nurturing support group for each other. And Lyndsey is a leader in that group. Even though she’s quiet, she’s a leader,” said Cronin, talking about the drama class.
Witmer has even seen changes in herself.
Aside from Witmer’s growth in confidence, Cronin has seen her turn into an inspiration for other students. Cronin thinks Witmer has so superbly learned to balance academics and passions that other students are starting to catch on.
Cronin attributed those accomplishments to one thing: “She has a rock-solid sense of herself.”
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