Teachers change lives every day

Thank you, Miss Fitz

Author: Jordan Coaker
Teacher's name: Alana Fitzpatrick
Teacher's school: Holy Spirit High

I was a bit of a loner going through high school. I had really close friends but never engaged in anything extra extracurricular. I was very focused on doing well in school that I never saw the point in engaging in the arts programs that the school had to offer, often opting for science courses over them. When grade 12 came I was required to do one optional language arts credit which could either be a language course or theatre arts. Thinking it would be the easier and least time consuming of the two I choose theatre arts. I had no idea how much that course would change my entire life.
The teacher for that course was a substitute at the time Alana Fitzpatrick, or Miss Fitz as we’d call her. Her passion for theatre and music was inspirational, she could make people who were afraid of their shadows come out of their shells and try things they never thought possible. In the course of a couple of months I was acting, and dancing, and doing things that a former version of myself would never dare do.
I remember her asking me one day if I could sing because they were looking for guys for the Holy Spirit choir, I had just started practicing guitar and considered myself a shower singer but with her coaxing, auditioned for the choir. From there I joined the boys a capella group “the crescendude, was cast in the school Cabaret and sang a solo at my graduation.
Fast forward ten years, I’m in two successful musical acts, Waterfront Fire and Quote the Raven. I’ve been nominated for an ECMA, been awarded three MusicNL awards and have another 10+ nominations besides. I’ve toured Atlantic Canada many times, played in South America and toured Europe. I’ve been in countless musicals, a diva in Diva’s do Christmas, and I get to do what I now love everyday and I owe all of that to Alana Fitzpatrick.
I still have and treasure the letter that she wrote to each individual cast member after the closing night of the Holy Spirit Cabaret where she talks about how proud she was that I had come out of my shell and done something that I never even knew that I could do. I am so greatful to have met her because she changed my life completely and I couldn’t be happier!

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