December 7, 2021
Preston Kendall, President, Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep
It was a tough year in education for everyone. Little in-class time and so many Zoom rooms. But try running a drama club on Chrome books!
The good news: The CRSM Thespians are back, 65 students strong — bigger and better than ever. Two afternoons a week, they’re busy rehearsing, directing, building stage sets, designing costumes, and creating a publicity plan for the upcoming March 3rd to 6th performance of Dracula, their sixth drama and first on CRSM’s new stage.
Elizabeth Partenach, English and theater teacher, had a front-row seat to the highs and lows of the extraordinary year of schooling in a pandemic. Though these challenges took a toll on many educators, Partenach kept her students motivated. With her tenacity, charm, and commitment to what could be, in fact, what would be, she kept hope alive in the hearts of her students. As a result, students remained emotionally connected and engaged in learning.
“There are some students who were very shy and scared when they were freshman, but the drama club welcomed them into the fold,” she says. “Here they find camaraderie, and great support creating something together. You can physically feel the energy of them growing and discovering their own unique talents and gifts.”
Dracula promises surprises big time. “We said, let’s dream big,” says Partenach, “There will be flying bats, trap doors, and Dracula in a coffin. Mark your calendars now!”