Creativity in the Time of Covid–June 13, 2021

Gold Shines!

The VPA Faculty in “Gold.”

On Friday night, all that glittered was gold, as the VPA faculty dazzled an audience of Booker students, alum, and other friends of the VPA with a stunning array of performances. “Gold: A Faculty Showcase” had plenty of delights on tap: Courtney Smith, performing hip hop choreographed by Kris Powell; Amanda Nix leading a rock band as she shredded her violin in a rousing rendition of “The Devil Went Down to Georgia;” Scott Keys and Alex Zickafoose humbly plucking away “Gold” from the musical Once; Sung Choe, Ellen Saxton, along with invited guests delivering masterful turns in classical music, the list goes on…

Scott Keys, along with Cynthia Howe Ashford, Sunny Smith, Caleb Carrier, Rebecca Abrahamson perform a “Lucky Medley” arranged and orchestrated by Johnnie Mnich.

“Gold” was the first-ever VPA faculty performance, but the reception was so positive that we will definitely make this an annual event.

This year, the event doubled as a send-off to the legendary Scott Keys, a cherished part of the VPA Faculty. Mr. Keys has taught in the Theatre Department for 21 years, leading the department to multiple wins and plenty of recognition at the annual Florida Theater Conference, the Southeastern Theatre Conference, and more.

Along with being a uniquely talented teacher, director, writer and theatre artist, Mr. Keys has been a trusted and competent leader and collaborator both within the VPA and in the school at large. His legacy is enormous, as evidenced by the hundreds of students who’ve participated in social media campaigns designed to honor him.

Mr. Keys reads from “The Alchemist” as his colleagues fight back tears.

Booker High Assistant Principal Retires

Ms. Fair enjoys a luncheon retirement gathering on Friday, June 11.

Booker High School Assistant Principal Sue Fair is retiring this year. She has served Booker High School twice, the first time during the school renovation, which she helped to lead. She was on the administrative team at Pine View School for a few years before returning to Booker High School this year.

Ms. Fair has a reputation on staff for being practical and straightforward; many of her recent duties at BHS have centered on facilities management and participation with the new $22 million theater renovation project. Throughout her tenure with the district, she has remained an ardent supporter of the Booker VPA.

We wish her good health, joy and contentment in her retirement.

New Administrator Assigned to Booker High

Greg Rumph will begin at BHS on July 1.

Assistant Principal Greg Rumph will be placed in the Assistant Principal position. Mr. Rumph is a visual artist with plenty of history in the Booker Schools, and he’s held administrative positions at Riverview High School, Sarasota High School, and Southeast High School.

Signing Off for Summer

The newsletter will take a brief hiatus for summer, but please look for new editions coming the first week in August. You can stay in touch with us by following us on Facebook (@bookervpa).

We at Booker VPA wish our friends and families a happy and relaxing summer break. We look forward to seeing you in the Fall!