One Class At A Time: Shades Valley High School

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — Theater teacher Dustin Helmer had no idea he was going to be the focus of a surprise. He’s this week’s winner of $1,000 as a part of CBS42’s One Class At A Time grant program.

Helmer leads one of the most unique classes in Central Alabama. Students from Jefferson County and beyond audition each year, hoping to be one of a select few who are picked for the theater academy at Shades Valley High School.

“It’s like a theatre company housed in a high school,” Helmer said. “They take their core classes in the high school and then they come here. We run a theatre company about eight productions a year.”

Now that Shades Valley Theatre Academy is $1,000 richer they want to work on improving their lighting, especially the spotlights.

“Our spotlights are very old,” Helmer said. “One of them doesn’t work at all, and one of them works when it wants to, which is not good for live theatre.”

He’d also love to improve other equipment at the school’s auditorium like the mixing board and speakers.

For now, they’ll just focus on fixing what they can, and the next production.

CBS42’s co-sponsors for the One Class At A Time project are Pepsi and America’s First Financial. To apply, click here.

Copyright 2014 WIAT-TV CBS42

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