Thriving through theater at St. James School

Class Act: Lonny Harrison from St. James
Lonny Harrison wins the Class Act award! (Source: WSFA 12 News).
Lonny Harrison wins the Class Act award! (Source: WSFA 12 News).

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The importance of performing arts in education is significant. One drama teacher in Montgomery knows that to be true, and his name is Lonny Harrison.

Since a young age, Harrison has been hooked on all things theater - and for good reason!

"Once theater is in your blood, it's there!" Harrison said. "It's something you always appreciate, and something you always love. I couldn't think of doing anything else. I got the opportunity to work with some students and found that's really what I enjoy."

Known to the students at St. James Academy as "Harri", this 20-year veteran has been teaching these teens some crucial life lessons, like humility and the importance of being a team player.

"It's not about being a star on stage - it's more about being a part of something bigger than yourself," Harrison said. "People who come and see should understand that while you may have four people on stage, there is a big team that's boosting them up and taking care of everything. It's not just about the actors, and a lot of people only see that aspect, so one of the things I like to do is make the kids feel like they can all do something and be part of something!"

A parent nominated Harrison because of his ability to nurture the whole students, both on and off stage. To do that, the kids are completely hands on from the start of each production. Right now they are prepping for "The Adam's Family"; along the way, a few mistakes have been made but even more life lessons have been learned.

While being recognized has made a big impact on Mr. Harrison, it also left him with little to say.

"I'm without words, for once!"

Congratulations Mr. Harrison, you're this week's Class Act!

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