2022 Beacon of Inclusive Excellence Award Winner

Allen Young

Today, as we celebrate the conclusion of another successful school year, we also celebrate the announcement of Mason High School Performing Arts Teacher, Allen Young, for being named the 2022 recipient of the Mason Schools Foundation Beacon of Inclusive Excellence Award.

Mr. Young was born and raised in Hamilton, Ohio. He currently resides in Anderson Township with his wife Amy and his two children. Mr. Young received a bachelor's degree in Speech and Theater Education from Ohio University and a Master's Degree in Education from Indiana Wesleyan University. Next year will be his 30th year in education and his 21st year teaching here at Mason City Schools. Judy Hershner, a former colleague and friend of Mr. Young was more than thrilled to join others in hopes to see Mr. Young recognized for this prestigious honor. “Allen Young is an extraordinarily talented teacher and director,” Judy shared. “I have watched in awe of his abilities to bring out the best in his students in the classroom and on stage.”

Intro to Theater, Drama Club and Actors Studio are a few high school courses that Allen Young leads and teaches. He is known to go out of his way to make every one of his students feel welcome, included and special regardless of age, gender, or abilities. “Over the years, Allen has also had the opportunity to work with many students with special needs, and he always encourages and includes these young people in the stage productions and activities of Drama Club,” added Judy Hershner.

Mr. Young goes out of his way daily to make accommodations for any situation that may arise. During the pandemic he provided specialty masks with clear partitions over the mouth to any actor and actress that felt they needed one to safely participate. That was necessary because facial expressions are a vital part of a performance. At times he also had to make last-minute decisions to reschedule the dates of upcoming shows due to many quarantines. It would have been easier to cancel a performance but that was not an option for Mr. Young. “I commend his willingness to persevere and adapt to the circumstances,” shared parent Jana Surace. “He was a steady role model our students needed in such stressful, unprecedented times and he showed that he always had the students' best interest at the heart with the decisions he made.”

Mr. Young showcases his passion for the performing arts daily. He is indeed a role model to his students and his colleagues and goes ‘Above and Beyond’ in everything he does. “I'm proud that the drama program is a safe place for all students to create, and I'm constantly amazed to watch my theater students exceed their own lofty expectations,” said Mr. Young. “I always tell students that they may not remember specific things that are covered in their academic classes, but they will never forget the memories they create together during a show.” Mr. Young’s unwavering guidance and support is sure to be a memory that will also not be forgotten.

🌟 Congratulations Mr. Young 🌟

Collage of Allen Young with his award, students, and MSF board members

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