The National High School Musical Theatre Awards, affectionately referred to as the "Jimmy Awards," has announced the recipients of the 2019 Inspiring Teacher Award: Matthew Hinson of Charlotte, North Carolina's Northwest School of the Arts, and Tasha Partee of Woodmere, New York's Lawrence Woodmere Academy.
The honor, presented by Wells Fargo, recognizes teachers for the encouragement and inspiration that led to their students winning the Jimmy Award for Best Performance by an Actress and Best Performance by an Actor. Hinson was 2018 winner Reneé Rapp's teacher, while Partee taught Jimmy Award winner and current Dead Evan Hansen star Andrew Barth Feldman.
Founded in 2009, the Jimmy Awards aim to raise the profile of musical theatre in schools, recognizing dedicated educators and inspiring the next generation of performers and enthusiasts. Student finalists, chosen from over 40 regional programs nationwide, are sent to New York for a week-long intensive in June that sees the young performers working with industry professionals to put on a Broadway-style awards show at a Broadway theatre. Two winners are selected from these finalists annually.
Since the program's inception, its participants have earned more than $2 million in university and conservatory scholarships. Several students have already gone on to be cast in Broadway, touring, and West End productions. Additional alumni include Kyle Selig (Mean Girls), Eva Noblezada (Miss Saigon), and Jai'Len Josey (SpongeBob SquarePants).
The eleventh annual Jimmy Awards, hosted by Tony winner Ben Platt, are scheduled for June 24 at Broadway's Minskoff Theatre.