Student Support Helps DMPS Drama Teacher Keep His Job

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DES MOINES, Iowa – A Roosevelt High School drama teacher will get to keep his full-time job thanks in part to students who stood up for him.

Due to a low enrollment rate in theater classes the high school’s program will see fewer classes next school year.

According to DMPS there will probably be only two or three classes.

DMPS Communications Director Phil Roeder said, “A few years ago, they would have six classes to as many as 10 classes of theater students. Looking ahead to next year it’s down to two maybe three classes.”

Michael Davenport is currently a full-time theater teacher, but next year will be considered half-time if he doesn’t also teach a second subject.

“He’s certified to teach social studies in addition to theater arts. So, they would like him to continue to be a half-time theater arts teacher, but also teach social studies,” Roeder said.

Davenport accepted the offer to teach both social studies and theater next school year.

Davenport said, “A lot of people don’t get to know what sort of impact they make unless they see a test score or a quiz or something like that. I practicality have been at my own funeral hearing all of the eulogies the last couple of days. It’s overwhelming and it’s wonderful.”

Students were upset with the original news and created a petition that had over 4,000 signatures and hosted a walk-out Tuesday.

Before the school board meeting, many showed up to voice how important the arts are in class curriculum and why his role is vital to the education system.

Roeder said it is common for theater teachers to also teach another subject.

“That’s actually very common. Most of our high schools currently have teachers that are teaching part-time in theater arts and for example part-time in English or part-time in social sciences,” Roeder said.

A teacher needs to be teaching six to seven classes to be considered full-time.

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