I will never forget the first Shakespeare Competition I attended. As a very young English teacher, I accompanied my student to the Dicapo Opera Theatre on Manhattan's Upper East Side. We were both inspired and awed by the amount of talent around us. 

"I feel so special," she whispered. 

"Me too!" I whispered back.

Just a few years later, the ESU's Manhattan Branch granted me a fellowship to study at Shakespeare's Globe in London, where I was surrounded by teachers who shared my love and excitement for the Bard. We absorbed everything we could, eager to bring our experiences back to our students.

Almost 20 years later, my students continue to participate in this Competition. And every year, when I bring our school winner to the Branch Competition, I delight in seeing them drink in the wonder of sharing Shakespeare.