Bill Vander Weele | Sidney Herald Christy Pierce earned the award for Class A Drama Coach of the Year.

Christy Pierce has been making a difference in the lives of Sidney’s youth for the past eight years and she recently was awarded for her commitment.

Pierce was selected as the winner of the Montana Forensics Education Association’s Class A Drama Coach of the Year award.

“I was shocked,” Pierce said of the honor. “I won it back in 2014, but this year I didn’t expect it at all. It’s an honor.”

She explained the award is decided by a vote of Class A coaches throughout the state.

Pierce laughs that she has learned a lot since she started being Gail Staffanson’s assistant coach in 2012.

“Gail was looking for an assistant, and I applied,” Pierce said. “It was completely learning the first year. I was used to college studies not high school. It was refreshing.”

Her experience includes earning a degree in theatre arts with a focus on stage management and directing.

“Awards justify my degree to my father,” Pierce laughed.

She then worked as a stage manager in Lansing, Mich., before moving back to Sidney. “The economy hit hard there, and it wasn’t hitting hard here,” Pierce explained.

During her time as drama coach, she has guided two state championship winning classical theater teams — Sarah Turek and Camden Berka in 2016 and Shoua Vang and Daniel Schneider this year. As a team, Sidney placed third in state for drama in 2016 and fourth this year.

“For some reason, we do well in classical theater. It’s the most structured theater event,” Pierce said.

She thanks Staffanson and debate coach Hunter Gordon for their support. “I appreciate both of them. We’re like a team.”

In addition to her coaching duties, Pierce is the director for Sidney High School’s plays. This year’s performances of “Get Smart” are scheduled for the first weekend of April.

“I try to focus on who my actors are,” Pierce said of how she selects a play. “This is for my seniors to have fun.”

This year, she is also directing a middle school play. “Farmageddon” will be performed during the second week of April.

“I do it for the kids,” Pierce said of her involvement. “We have such an amazing group of kids.”




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