Brenda Cowan Elementary School
Mr. Austin Vahle is the drama teacher at Brenda Cowan Elementary (BCE). While he is only in his second year of teaching he has made significant contributions to his school and community. Besides his teaching duties Mr. Vahle serves as a Jr. Beta Club advisor is a school based decision-making council faculty member and produces theatrical productions. During COVID Mr. Vahle directed and wrote the BCE virtual musical revue Illuminate. This production allowed students to perform while learning remotely. Students practiced individualized monologues songs and dances reflecting their personal experiences. After remote rehearsals students were individually recorded and a professionally compiled show was then streamed online. Mr. Vahle not only continually goes above and beyond in his teaching duties but also exemplifies the best of an educator. He has secured grants to allow students to experience Broadway theatrical experiences; he supports student’s social-emotional needs; he gives students a creative outlet to express their artistic talents even in these most trying of times. In all his roles as an educator Mr. Vahle consistently elevates his students and is overly deserving of Norwegian’s Giving Joy award.