A Love of Theater Leads to a Master of Arts in Teaching

Image Smiling Man EKU Online Student Daniel Ellis

Theater is Daniel Ellis’s passion. He worked for Lexington Children’s Theater prior to serving as the sponsor for the award-winning Tates Creek High School Drama Club.

Inspiring kids and young adults to develop their artistic talents eventually inspired him to seek a career as an educator. “When I directed my first show at Tates Creek that spurred me to go back to school!” he said. He is now earning his Master of Arts in Teaching.

Dr. Amanda McMullan, an EKU Online instructor, nominated Daniel for the 2017 EKU Online Outstanding Online Student Award. “He puts forth obvious effort to thoroughly answer discussion questions and responds thoughtfully to his peer’s posts,” she wrote. “He offers suggestions and strategies for peers to try in their own classrooms. He is a leader in this course.”

Daniel believes the skills he has gained as a student in EKU’s program will benefit him in numerous ways. “The course work has really given me a stronger vocabulary and a sense of how to formally construct lesson plans. The specific requirements of KTIP are really the basis for the assignments in the MAT program, which I expect will serve me very well as I begin teaching in an official capacity,” he shared.

The online format has been essential given that he travels for shows. Even though he went to Virginia to direct another production over the summer, he was able to stay on track with his courses. “I like the ease of access. It really allows you to build around your own schedule,” he explained.

Daniel says he’s grateful for the opportunities his EKU experience presented. “I have maintained a 4.0 GPA in the program, and I have directed a mainstage production at EKU to acclaim,” he said.

His internship included directing the fall 2017 EKU Theatre production of Ajax in Iraq by Ellen McLaughlin. The story compares the ancient Greek military hero, Ajax, to a female soldier in the Iraq War named AJ and explores how both of them react to being betrayed by a commanding officer.

Daniel hopes to be certified to teach in a few months, and he is excited about the next phase of his career. “It’s essential to do work that helps you shine in your individual talents, and in the immortal words of Terrence McNally ‘Make them hear you,’” he said. “EKU Online helped me to see that I can accomplish anything.”

Published on December 05, 2017